Two carbon-fibre composite cylinders produced by Structural Composites Industries (SCI), a Division of Taylor-Wharton International, were on the Phoenix spacecraft looking for the potential for life to thrive on Mars.

The Phoenix mission was launched on 4th August 2007 and SCI’s durable model 5129A cylinders traversed the 422 million mile journey through space without incident, Taylor-Wharton International (TWI) reports. The Phoenix spacecraft will look for the potential for life by sampling Martian soil for the next 90 days and then will be covered with a layer of frost as the Martian winter season sets in.

The SCI composite overwrapped cylinders were used to store helium and their presence on the mission, perhaps, serves to highlight once more the role of the industrial gas industry in almost all walks of life – whether human or not!

The helium was channelled through a regulator system to the propellant tanks to maintain constant pressure through the propulsion system to the thrusters. The constant propulsion pressure was one of the key elements of the successful performance of the thrusters during Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) operations.

The Phoenix landing marks the first time since 1976, and only the third time in history, that a soft landing has been carried out on Mars.

TWI’s CEO, Bob Gadomski, offered his congratulations to all SCI personnel for a job well done and commented, “TWI employees throughout the world salute SCI’s accomplishment and share in the pride that the quality, craftsmanship and ingenuity of Taylor-Wharton International will be forever preserved on another planet in our solar system.”

The weather forecast on Mars is for clear and sunny skies, though the temperature will vary between -112°F in the early morning and -22°F in the afternoon.