ATLANTA, Oct. 3, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- EMS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ELMG) announced today that NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has awarded EMS Defense and Space Systems a $1.2 million contract to provide Ka-band antennas for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) exploratory rover. The MSL is scheduled for liftoff sometime in September 2009, during a narrow launch window that occurs for only a few weeks every 26 months.
The MSL is twice as long as and carries a greater payload than the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. At liftoff in 2009, the MSL will carry the largest, most advanced set of instruments for on-the-spot science duties ever dispatched to the Martian surface. The rover is being designed to assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support life.
The Ka-band antennas, which use EMS's patented slot array technology, are a critical part of the Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS), which will guide the MSL to the surface of Mars. Unlike previous Mars rovers that used inflatable airbags to bounce the rovers to a halt on the planet's surface, the MSL rover will use precision landing techniques to steer itself toward the Martian surface. EMS anticipates that the TDS antennas will be used on other future Mars missions as well.
"We are proud to be a part of this NASA mission of discovery that will vastly enrich our knowledge of the red planet," said Jay Grove, senior vice president and general manager of EMS's Defense and Space Systems division. "EMS was selected for this exciting program because of our technical strength, our forty years of space flight heritage, and our ability to meet the critical schedule this program requires."
About EMS Technologies, Inc.
EMS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ELMG) is a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of wireless, satellite and defense solutions, and focuses its unique range of advanced technologies on the needs of broadband and mobile information users. The Company is headquartered in Atlanta, has approximately 1,200 workers worldwide, and operates manufacturing facilities in Atlanta, Ottawa and Brazil.
EMS Technologies' Defense and Space Systems Division develops advanced technology systems for military and space applications. The division provides critical subsystems for communications, radar, and electronic warfare systems.
For more information, visit EMS on the World Wide Web at www.ems-t.com.
CONTACT: EMS Technologies Public Relations Anne Wainscott-Sargent (770) 263-9200, ext. 4326 firstname.lastname@example.org