With all the crazy news that's been happening here on Earth, I hope you had a chance to celebrate along with the mission control crew on Feb. 18 when the rover Perseverance landed on Mars. (You can see it here, if you missed it.)
While every space project relies on plastics, especially lightweight composites, the Perseverance also carries with it the Ingenuity helicopter, which aims to take the first powered flight on the planet. The Ingenuity must be as light as possible to operate in the thin atmosphere on Mars, so NASA and its collaborators are using Toray Advanced Composites materials for the rotor blades and chassis structure.
And if that's not enough to celebrate, composites also are playing a part in Northrup Grummun's Antares rocket and a resupply mission to the International Space Station on board the S.S. Katherine Johnson, named for the NASA mathemetician whose work on manned space flights was part of the movie and book Hidden Figures.