Press Releases

Mars Mission Relies on Timken® Bearings
Descent brake system will lower science lab to surface

CANTON, Ohio — Oct. 2, 2008 — The Timken Company (NYSE:TKR) has supplied bearings for a new descent brake system to be used on NASA's upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission.

Scheduled to launch in 2009, the Mars Science Laboratory rover capsule will separate from the spacecraft to enter the Martian atmosphere.  In a series of steps, an aeroshell and then a parachute will slow the rover's descent.  In the final stage, a "sky crane" descent brake system will lower the rover on a 25-foot-long tether to a precise landing on the surface within seven seconds.

Timken provided needle roller bearings for installation in the SpaceDev descent brake system.  Timken has supplied super-precision ball bearings to SpaceDev for various applications on previous Mars rovers.

The mission of the robotic Mars Science Laboratory is to analyze soil and rock samples.  The craft will have greater range than any previous Mars rover.

To view an animated video showing the future spacecraft descent, visit


About SpaceDev Inc.

SpaceDev Inc. is a space technology/aerospace company that creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and mission solutions. For more information, visit

About The Timken Company  

The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR, keeps the world turning, with innovative friction management and power transmission products and services, enabling our customers to perform faster and more efficiently. With sales of $5.2 billion in 2007, operations in 27 countries and approximately 25,000 employees, Timken is Where You Turn™ for better performance.


Source: The Timken Company


Media Contact: Jeff Dafler
Manager - Global Media & Government Relations
Telephone: 330-471-3514
Facsimile: 330-471-7032


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Manager - Investor Relations
Telephone: 330-471-7446
Facsimile: 330-471-2797


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