Parts made at Roscoe company help NASA rover explore Mars

Local News

ROSCOE, Ill. (WTVO) — Early Thursday, NASA launched a rover to Mars in a search for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet.

Manufacturing companies, like Forest City Gear, at 11715 Main St, played a significant role in helping NASA accomplish its mission to Mars.

It takes years of preparation to create the rover, which is made up of many moving parts, including the gears in the arm, which were made by Forest City Gear.

The gears help the rover’s arm function like a human arm, able to grab anything it can.

“We’ve made some of the most precise gears that are complicated and difficult,” said chairman Frederick Young.

The Mars Rover isn’t the first time the Roscoe-based manufacturing company has done this kind of work.

“I think the first one… there were three vehicles, Spirit and Opportunity, and then the next one was Curiosity. This later one is Perseverance,” Young said.

The small parts are a big deal for Forest City Gear: it takes up to eight months to make. NASA needs all the parts finalized one year prior to the big launch.

“It’s fun for folks to learn that their gears are going well beyond the Earth. What’s Mars? Thirty-seven million miles, I think. That’s beyond the imagination of most people,” said Young.

The company takes pride in helping to make history.

“Knowing that you had a hand in helping gather information, so our scientists can analyze that, it’s fascinating stuff that we need to know about,” Young beamed.

Forest City Gear says they don’t currently have any more projects lined up with NASA, but say they’re ready when the time comes.

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