Defense Applications Commercial Applications Space Applications

Space Applications

Beaver actuation technology consistently meets the demands of space exploration

Special Beaver ball screw actuators were used to clamp and lock the Titan I Missile in firing position after it was raised from the silo. Beaver ball splines were used to position the Telstar antenna. Beaver ball screws provided motion for the 9-ton Apollo flight simulator. Over 100 Beaver ball screws were used to shape the walls of the supersonic wind tunnels. Beaver ball screws, measuring 50 feet long and three inches in diameter, were used for nuclear control rod drives, as well as a positioning mechanism for electron acceleration.


Space Shuttle

Eight electromechanical actuators, designed and manufactured by Beaver, are mounted on a split ring docking module, which contains an octagon-shaped hatch. The docking module is attached to an orbiter. As the orbiter approaches the space station and makes initial contact, the actuators act as a soft spring, absorbing the energy of the moving orbiter and bringing it to a locking position on the space station. Each Beaver actuator consists of a ball screw, capable of back driving under load, dual drive motors, worm gear transmission, as well as a resolver and load cell in a totally enclosed, packaged assembly.


The space shuttle features another interesting Beaver application on the manipulator arm. A ball bearing spline, located in the gripper mechanism, is used for transmitting torque from a rotating shaft input to the gripper mechanism, moving in a linear direction. Advantages of the ball bearing spline are: sensitive response, compact profile, mechanical reliability, which eliminates leakage problems associated with hydraulics under the conditions of outer space, as well as extremely smooth and accurate operation.


Lunar Rover

Beaver’s precision ball screws were used in the fuel throttle device of the Lunar Excursion Module, which helped provide a smooth, safe landing on the moon.


Pershing Missile

An ultra-precision ball screw, with a lead accuracy of 70 millionths of an inch, was used in the guidance control mechanism of the Pershing Missile.


Mars Rover

Beaver Aerospace provided a crown gear assembly for the pedal actuator in this critical space application. The pedal actuator was designed to extend and "rotate" the Rover container to the proper position so that the vehicle could exit the container and start its valuable mission.


James Webb Space Telescope

Beaver is providing the ball screws that will provide six degrees of movement for each of the mirror segments on the JWST program.





The Space Shuttle utilized Beaver


Beaver Aerospace & Defense, Inc., is a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Livonia, Michigan



Follow Us!




© Beaver Aerospace & Defense, Inc. - 11850 Mayfield.  Livonia, MI. 48150 
Ph: 734.853.5003