COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - From the mid-state to Mars, we are one step closer to centuries-old questions about life existing on another planet and local company Cookeville's Flexial Cooperation helped make space history.
It's considered one of the greatest moments in space science history as the Mars Rover; name Curiosity, makes a successful landing on the planet Sunday, giving us what scientist call spectacular images.
What happened more than 200 million miles away has a lot to do with what is being done in this building in Cookeville, Tennessee?
"We specialize in the manufacturing of edge bellow, which doesn't mean a lot to anyone, but they are the core technology that's used in a number of high technology components for the international space station," said Flexial Cooperation Director of Global Business, Gary Cummings.
For 15 years Flexial Corporation has helped the world of science by building small but extremely important parts for history making.
Take the Mars Rover Curiosity, engineers here designed and tested thermal expansion devices and accumulators.
"Very much like you have in your car so that radiator keep your engine cool, this is exactly what their systems do for the Mars Rover and also for the cruise vehicle; which got the rover on its eight month journey to Mars," said project manager Jason Beaty.
What this metal object does is serve as a coolant or heater for the fluid used in Curiosity, as the temperature during its trip range from negative 150 degrees to potentially more than 100 degrees on Mars.
"So if the system gets hot, the computer shuts down and basically you have a $2.5 billion piece of junk on Mars," said Beaty.
Since 2007 when NASA came to the Cookeville company, they have been waiting for this day and making sure they produce nothing less than the best.
"Our edge welded bellows is a hermetic device, so that its maintenance free, because you don't have a maintenance crew on Mars," said Beaty.
Flexial is currently working with NASA to develop a new fire extinguishing system for the International Space Station.