“From this day on, the path to Mars goes through Bally, Pennsylvania,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said during a tour and press conference at Bally Ribbon Mills. Mr. Bolden was at the company to see a new technology being developed for future space mission and also show his support for small businesses that are part of NASA’s programs for space exploration and research.

brm_and_nasa_visit01Bally Ribbon Mills has been picked to supply a critical component of the heat shield on the Orion Crew Capsule. The specially designed 3-D woven thermal protection system (TPS) will help protect the crew and capsule from the extreme temperatures during atmospheric re-entry. If future missions to the Moon, an asteroid, or Mars are to be successful, newer stronger materials must be used. Bally Ribbon Mills has developed a material that can survive the thermal protection needed while also providing key mechanical strength to the interface between the crew module and service module.

While at Bally Ribbon Mills, Mr. Bolden was given a tour of the factory and saw firsthand how the woven TPS is manufactured. The technology being developed would not have been possible but for the help and partnership of NASA.

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