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July 9, 2002
Alcoa Donates Materials, Engineering Expertise for Mars Habitation Station
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 9, 2002--Alcoa aluminum might be going to Mars.
Alcoa has donated approximately 1,500 pounds of 6061-T6 aluminum sheet and treadplate along with engineering expertise to the Mars Society, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement of Mars. The aluminum products were used to produce the skin of the Mars Habitation Station (MarsHab), a test facility designed for living on the Red Planet. The MarsHab is the centerpiece for the Mars Society's Mars Analog Research Station Project (M.A.R.S.).
"The Mars Society sends teams of scientists to remote places on
Earth to simulate what it would be like to live and do research on
Mars. Alcoa has always supported human space endeavors, from the
beginnings of NASA through today's International Space Station.
Supporting this program was a natural extension of that spirit of
cooperation," says Ken Forsythe, staff application engineer in Alcoa's
Mill Products business, who was instrumental in donating the aluminum
products to the organization. The aluminum sheet and plate came from
Alcoa's plant in Davenport, Iowa.
Alcoa products have been part of aerospace since the Wright
Brothers and Kitty Hawk. The Wright 1903 Flyer was powered by an
engine whose aluminum crankcase was cast by Alcoa, then known as the
Pittsburgh Reduction Company. Since then, Alcoa has developed 95% of
the structural alloys which enabled the design of such historic air
and space craft as the Junkers F-13, the DC-3, the B-29, today's jumbo
jets built by Boeing and Airbus, and the Space Shuttle. Beyond
materials, Alcoa today supplies aerospace fasteners, cast turbine
blades, electrical wiring, cabin interior components, subassemblies
and more. Alcoa's latest contribution is the new high-security
FORTRESS(TM) cockpit door, a complete security assembly designed and
built by Alcoa.
The Mars Habitation Station is currently on display at the Adler
Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago until September 2. From
there it will move to other prominent locations throughout the world,
including "Space Rocks", a 70,000 person rock concert that will be
broadcast by MTV live around the world from Rice Stadium in Houston,
Texas in October 2002, and Paris. It will also travel to a location
north of the Arctic Circle this winter for simulation of cold-weather
living on Mars.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of
the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging,
building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial
markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other
capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers.
In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets
consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R)
wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are
vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical
distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000
employees in 38 countries.