We have been fortunate to witness the progress on the assembly of the Mars rover as it happens from the floor of the High Bay 1 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California—an ISO Class 5 cleanroom.
The US aerospace agency set up a 24/7 webcam on the site and has been sending a live stream broadcast of the process for everyone to watch.
Technicians putting together the propulsion system on the vehicle that will explore the red planet next year have been in the spotlight—we see them fully gowned walking in and out the site hands and heads stuck in the rover every day.
Those who know what it takes to work in a clean production site can tell the challenging task of the Mars 2020 mission
For most people, this experience might be seen as a transparency exercise, or simply something cool to watch. Only those who know of what it takes to work in a cleanroom can tell the challenging task the Mars 2020 mission is. Undoubtedly, the eye-catching footage has been a remarkable opportunity to observe peers at work.
The timing of NASA's "openness" complements this month's issue, which focuses on contamination control in hi-tech applications. Andy Sellars, Strategic Development Director of the UK's CSA Catapult, sheds light on the steps taken to allow British SMEs to lead the next semiconductor revolution (p32), Servomex writes about the latest gas analysing technology available for wafer fabrication (p37), and on p41 chemical cleaning specialist Astro Pak shares its expertise on passivation.
This edition is a milestone for us, too. We've been busy expanding our coverage beyond pharmaceuticals. Mission accomplished.
N.B. This article is featured in the July 2019 issue of Cleanroom Technology. Subscribe today and get your print copy!