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Outer space: The ultimate test of high-quality bearings

30 June 2022

One of the most critical bearing applications in the aerospace industry is manned space flight missions, where machinery requires motion control. This is an area that is currently experiencing significant investment and growth.

Despite all the global challenges and uncertainties, the UK and European space sector is thriving – a good example of which is the Harwell Space Cluster. This facility is acknowledged as the UK’s leading space technology gateway, with a global reputation for innovation – from space science research to ground-based commercial solutions.

Today, the Harwell Space Cluster forms an integral part of the UK’s space sector, having grown into a dynamic and enterprising ecosystem comprising over 100 organisations, employing 1,400 people, and contributing £5.7bn to UK GDP.

Located in close proximity to the Harwell site is Oxfordshire-based Carter Manufacturing, which is the European master distributor for USA-based Napoleon Bearings. With over 25 years of service in the aerospace manufacturing industry, Napoleon offers customers the crucial benefit of ‘Space Heritage’ – a status that is critical to being considered a supplier to the space industry sector. This is underlined by the fact that Napoleon has supported both NASA missions in the USA and projects initiated by the European ESA, by supplying components for life-critical space applications. 

Thanks to its representation of Napoleon Bearings, Carter is able to pass on its expertise gained from manned USA space flight missions to similar projects for its UK and European customers. As a result, from low-earth orbit to Mars exploration and beyond, outer space-approved bearings – along with other key components – are helping customers to explore and conquer new frontiers with confidence.

Read the full article in DPA's July issue

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