In space, no one cares if you get a flat tire. Except if you’re NASA. Then it’s pretty important. Their engineers have spent years tinkering with wheel designs tough enough to sustain heavy human use over Mars’ cruelest rocks and crags. And now they may just have cracked it.
Check out their new “Superrelastic” tires made of memory alloy springs based on nickel titanium. When woven into interlocking coils, this alloy can deform up to 30 times more than steel mesh and automatically return back to its original shape—giving the tires more traction and durability than any rigid steel designs. Plus, they can handle heavier payloads at higher speeds. It’s like a protective coating of chainmail that can battle the Lannisters, Boltons and Targaryens with one hand tied behind its back.
Though they were originally created for future exploration on Mars, the nearly indestructible tires have the potential to revolutionize transportation on Earth, too. Think about it: Rebel wheels that can conquer the toughest terrain and bounce back like nothing ever happened?
Talk about surviving a rocky relationship.