JAN 20, 2019 5:57 PM PST

Learn More About NASA's Special Painting Process for Martian Rovers

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Much like an automobile, NASA’s Martian rovers receive a paint job before they’re delivered to Mars; but that’s about where the similarities end. Unlike your car, a Martian rover needs a precise paint job comprised of specially-formulated paint that can survive in deep space and on the harsh environment endured on the red planet.

It would be an understatement to say that a Martian rover’s paint job is more durable than that of what you’d find on your car. If you look closely at the Curiosity rover’s selfie pictures, you’ll see shiny white paint underneath its dusty overlay. That paint is designed to avoid chipping and behave like a protective barrier that prevents moisture from accumulating beneath it.

NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 rover will receive the same white paint job because it’s ideal for reflecting sunlight and reducing temperatures. Precisely-cut pieces of masking tape are placed on the rover’s chassis before paint application to ensure that only the necessary components are painted. NASA then scuffs the bare aluminum body to make paint adhesion easier.

After a trained technician applies the paint evenly, the chassis enters a vacuum oven where the paint bakes at around 230 degrees Fahrenheit for three days straight. This baking process helps to cure the paint and ensure that nothing penetrates it – not even Mars’ drastic temperature changes or rough, dusty weather.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX to Send Astronauts to the ISS for the First Time in May
MAR 22, 2020
SpaceX to Send Astronauts to the ISS for the First Time in May
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program opened the door to the possibility that American commercial space companies like Bo ...
MAR 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
If Gravity Has Mass, This Could Explain Dark Energy
MAR 30, 2020
If Gravity Has Mass, This Could Explain Dark Energy
The Big Bang purportedly transpired 13.8 billion years ago, and even so, the universe continues to expand even today. Bu ...
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
APR 19, 2020
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
After spending several months onboard the International Space Station conducting science experiments and risky spacewalk ...
APR 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA's Swift Telescope Measured the Water Loss of This Interstellar Comet
APR 28, 2020
NASA's Swift Telescope Measured the Water Loss of This Interstellar Comet
When the interstellar comet 2l/Borisov made its first appearance in our solar system, astronomers were quick to turn the ...
JUL 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
JUL 23, 2020
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
William Gilbert, the British physicist and physician who experimentally verified the magnetic nature of our planet, cont ...
AUG 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Mars Was Shaped by Ice Sheets - not Rivers
AUG 05, 2020
Mars Was Shaped by Ice Sheets - not Rivers
Physicists have found that in the distant past, Mars may not have been warm enough to carry vast oceans. Instead, in new ...
Loading Comments...