On July 4, 1997, the Mars Pathfinder made its historic landing on the surface of Mars, cushioned by airbags made of VECTRAN fiber. The low-temperature performance, flex fatigue and abrasion resistance, and tensile strength of VECTRAN were all key considerations in the material selection process.

VECTRAN is also used for tethers and strength members in other aerospace applications. In addition to robust mechanical performance, the minimal off- and out-gassing characteristics of the fiber are desirable for high vacuum and space applications.

Key Benefits

  • Low CTE
  • Thermal properties, including low-temperature performance
  • Low off-gassing and out-gassing characteristics
  • Flex fatigue resistance


  • Inflatable system (e.g., space habitats)
  • Actuator cords for remote deployment systems
  • Safety restraints, tie-downs, cable harnesses, and lacing tapes
  • Lifting/lower system bridle and tethers (e.g., sky crane)

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