At a joint press conference on July 10, NASA Director Doug McCuistion and Siemens Industry CEO Siegfried Russwurm discussed the dawning of a new era of space exploration and the critical roles that NASA engineers and Siemens software technology play in helping to make it possible. The two companies referenced the impending August 5 landing of the latest Mars Rover "Curiosity" - designed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) using Siemens software - as a tangible example of how modern software technology is being employed to enhance competitiveness in the aerospace industry. Part of this ongoing transformation includes public-private partnerships and a constant drive to maximize productivity and shorten development times.
"Curiosity is the most sophisticated rover ever sent to Mars, and will further enhance our understanding of the Red Planet, while paving the way for future human exploration," said Doug McCuistion, NASA Director of the Mars Exploration Program. "The incredible team of scientists and engineers at NASA's JPL has employed the latest in software technology to design the Mars Rover to withstand the impossible extremes of launch, space travel, atmospheric reentry, and landing a 2000 pound operational vehicle on the surface of Mars."
JPL used product lifecycle management (PLM) software from Siemens throughout the development process to digitally design, simulate and assemble the Rover before any physical prototypes were built. The software helped ensure all components would fit together, operate properly and withstand whatever environment the mission would require. "Siemens is proud of our strong partnership with NASA and the role our technology plays in helping them pursue such extraordinary and ambitious missions," said Siegfried Russwurm, Member of the Siemens Board and CEO of the Industry Sector.
In the aerospace industry, Siemens' overall revenues across all technologies are in the mid-three-digit million Euro range. Russwurm highlighted the essential role of cost-efficient product design and production in aircraft manufacturing: "The Aerospace Industry is on the leading edge when it comes to managing the full complexity of sophisticated product development and manufacturing. With our unique Siemens combination of PLM software and automation technologies, we not only cut time to market by up to 50 percent but also save resources and energy costs". As a part of the Siemens vertical IT for industrial production Siemens PLM software is used by more than 70,000 customers worldwide in aerospace, automotive, electronics, machinery and other industries.