SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As we get closer to the historic launch of the Mars InSight Mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base, a Santa Maria company will be watching very closely as well.
Going along on the historic journey of the InSight Mission to Mars are likely to be components manufactured by Santa Maria-based Helical Products.
"We make various kinds of couplings and energy transfer devices", said Helical Products plant manager Cliff Miyamoto, "they can couple one shaft to another, can go in multiple directions up to 90 degrees."
The custom-designed, lightweight parts and components are used in medical devices, military and commercial equipment as well as aerospace applications.
"What we're finding out is our couplings have a very wide range of applications", Miyamoto said, "we're actually starting to find new ones as we go."
Helical Products employs more than 120 people at its Santa Maria facility and is celebrating 60 years as a company.
"We're planning on showing the employees where our products are used", Miyamoto said, "actually on the Mars mission, it would be not only be historic but, like I said, will help us celebrate our 60th anniversary."
The launch window for the Mars InSight Mission is Saturday morning between 4:05 and 6:05 a.m., weather permitting with no technical delays.