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August 8, 2012

Biddeford co. tapped for Mars mission

A Biddeford manufacturer of advanced carbon composites and high temperature insulation has boldly gone where few of its competitors have been before as part of NASA's latest mission to Mars.

Fiber Materials Inc., owned by GrafTech International of Ohio, contributed to the heat shield that helped the "Curiosity" rover make its final descent through the Martian atmosphere, according to the Journal Tribune.

The thermal protection material was made out of a proprietary carbon composite material developed at the Biddeford facility. At 15 feet, the heat shield was the largest ever constructed for an interplanetary mission, and can withstand temperatures of up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

An engineer with the company said that Fiber Materials Inc. will be participating in future space missions, according to WMTW.

The Curiosity rover will spend the next two years studying the surface of the red planet to determine if life was or is possible on Mars. The project cost $2.5 billion.

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EPA fines Biddeford composites maker for allegedly failing to report toxic compounds

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