Space cables

Wire and cable manufactured by W L Gore & Associates at its Space Centre of Excellence in Dundee and also in their Delaware plant, have been used by NASA for its Mars 2020 Mission, which is currently on its way to the red planet.

The cables assist with communications around the critical landing operation and are used within the pioneering Perseverance Rover itself too, which is currently cruising in space and expected to land on February 18, 2021.

The Mars 2020 mission addresses high-priority scientific goals for exploration to help answer the questions of potential life on Mars.

Gore’s wire and cable products are critical components to the success of data processing and communications between the Perseverance Rover and the descent stage of the mission. They assist with the precise landing operation to the Martian surface until the Sky Crane enabling this operation departs. The intense entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, travelling at about 12,100mph. EDL ends about seven minutes later with the rover stationary on the Martian surface.

The Perseverance Rover, whose parts include Gore wire and cable, is about the size of a car, but at 1,025kg it weighs significantly less. It has the capability to travel on the surface of Mars over three to twelve miles during its duration, which is expected to be at least one Mars year (687 Earth days). The mission addresses high-priority science goals such as looking for habitability, seeking biosignatures, caching samples and preparing for humans.

Gore’s reliable products were selected for the mission because of their durable constructions that have been proven and trusted over one hundred missions to withstand the harshest environments encountered in space. GORE Space Cables have also been used on the iconic Apollo 11 mission to the moon as well as the International Space Station, Envisat, Space Shuttle Program, Sentinel, Hubble Space Telescope and 2012 Curiosity Mission.

In June 2019 Gore officially opened the Gore Space Centre of Excellence at Dundee Technology Park to acknowledge the outstanding quality of work delivered by its Associates.

Jeff Fyfe, Gore’s space global business leader based in Dundee (pictured), commented: “This is a really proud moment for Associates in Dundee. We’re honoured to be part of this momentous mission to explore Mars. Gore has a long history of working alongside NASA and the European Space Agency to meet the most demanding mission specifications. We have a fantastic legacy that spans back for over fifty years of space missions and a 100% failure-free flight record.

“Gore’s continuous innovation has earned our space division a global reputation and it is an exciting time for Associates to be part of history in the making.”



Catalog: GORE® Space Cables for Traditional Space Applications

Complete Line of Space Cables for Traditional Applications

Gore’s space cables are manufactured in our ESA-qualified, ISO 9001:2000-certified manufacturing facility with our proprietary material, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). This specialized fluoropolymer technology is featured in the insulation of our cables and is the key to outstanding performance. The entire line of qualified, tested GORE Space Cables line includes:

Type SPC (ESCC 3901/009)

Gore’s Type SPC is engineered for geostationary earth orbit (GEO) applications such as DC power distribution, high-quality signals and optical instruments. It provides reliable signals for improved performance and has been used successfully on Alphabus satellites.

Type SPP (ESCC 3901/017)

With superior ATOX resistance and reliable performance in extremely low and high temperatures, Gore’s Type SSP is on the European Space Agency (ESA)’s qualified parts list (QPL) for use in high-current applications.

Type SPM (ESCC 3901/018)

On the ESA’s QPL, Gore’s Type SPM is chemically inert, thermally resistant, and withstands ATOX in low earth orbit (LEO) applications. It’s ideal for manned missions and transfer vehicles, as it helps teams to avoid unnecessary downtime.

Type SPL (ESCC 3901/019)

Designed for GEO applications, Gore’s Type SPL provides easy installations in tight configurations and decreases the spacecraft’s total mass thanks to its small, flexible, lightweight footprint.

Type SPLD (ESCC 3901/021)

Gore’s Type SPLD features an additional drain wire and simplifies shield termination of wires into contacts for GEO applications. It also has a small, low-weight construction that’s flexible for easier routing and decreased spacecraft mass.

Type CSWL (ESCC 3901/024)

Reducing cut-through and material creep risks, Gore’s Type CSWL outperforms standard materials in the most challenging conditions in all areas of a spacecraft, from optical systems to propulsion.

Type CSC (ESCC 3901/025)

Gore’s Type CSC distributes power and delivers signals continuously while providing reliable protection throughout the entire mission. Plus, it features greater flexibility, tighter bend radius and enhanced color coding for easier identification and installation.

Types GCX/GTX/GBL (ESCC 3902/002)

These cables are specifically engineered for dataline applications like high-resolution cameras, sensors and detectors, as well as digital sign processors and high-speed subsystem interconnects. They’re preferred by many space programs because of their low capacitance, low insertion loss and minimal time delay for up to 1 GHz of high data rate transmission.

Type SpaceWire (ESCC 3902/003)

Gore’s Type SpaceWire uses serial, point-to-point dataline with low-voltage differential signals (LVDS), allowing it to be integrated into various satellite programs without the need for custom designs. It also provides bi-directional, high-speed data transmission up to 400 Mb/s with low skew, low insertion loss and minimal crosstalk.

Anti-Static Wire (ASW)

Ideal for systems with constant cable movement, Gore’s ASW defends against static built up over time, eliminating short circuits and effectively draining static electricity in GEO and LEO applications.

High-Voltage Cables

For a minimum of 10,000 hours, Gore’s cables provide superior performance at maximum voltage ratings thanks to their chemically inert, thermally resistant design. They are available as hookup wires or round cables.

Protective Braids

Installable over cable bundles, Gore’s protective braids add another layer of protection in extreme temperatures and provide enhanced EMI suppression for reliable, continuous signals.

Stripping Blades (Finished Wires)

To fit the Custom Stripmaster® or Custom Stripmaster® Lite Wire Strippers from Ideal Industries, Inc., Gore offers cutting blades designed specifically for a variety of our cables, ensuring repeatable and dependable outcomes.

Benefits of GORE Space Cables

With decades of proven performance and a 100% failure-free flight record, GORE Space Cables have been trusted by hundreds of global spaceflight programs, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA). In addition to unwavering reliability, our products also deliver the following advantages when compared to alternatives:

Specialized Materials with Long Lifespan

Gore’s proprietary ePTFE used in every space cable offers reliable performance over the lifespan of the spacecraft thanks to its resistance to the following:

  • Low-to-high temperatures
  • Harsh chemicals
  • Abrasion
  • Cut-through
  • Material creep
  • ATOX

Reliable Power and Signals throughout Mission

Due to their robust construction, GORE Space Cables maintain their impeccable performance in the harshest environments and are proven to deliver constant communications from space to Earth.

Simplified Routing and Mass Savings

GORE Space Cables feature a smaller, lighter weight design over standard products, helping to reduce the spacecraft’s total mass and make room for other critical subsystems. What’s more, our cables are highly flexible with a tight bend radius for quicker, easier installation in confined systems.

How to Order GORE Space Cables for Traditional Space Applications

GORE Space Cables are ESA-qualified and adhere to ESCC specifications, making them appropriate for use in a wide variety of traditional space applications. For more information about our part numbers, contact a Gore representative today. If you’re ready to order, contact one of our distributors directly.

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GORE® Space Cables and Assemblies: Datalines


Improve Signal Integrity for Critical Data Transmission

Data transmission between various systems on a spacecraft is crucial to the success and safety of the mission — the cables used to transmit data have a direct impact on the quality of the signal and the time required for transmission. For example, if the cable system used for data transmission fails, the communication between the craft and mission control could be lost. Cable performance is based on reliability, durability and signal integrity, all of which can be compromised by electrical, mechanical and environmental stress.

In today’s aerospace missions, environmental stress can include extreme temperatures, chemicals, abrasion and extensive flexing. These conditions often call for cables that are smaller, more lightweight and offer long service life.

GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications answer these challenges. Qualified according to ESCC 3902/002, the cables combine excellent electrical performance with mechanical robustness to provide outstanding signal transmission up to 1 GHz in the most difficult situations. Designed with wires of identical electrical length, the cables have a conductor time delay that differs by less than 0.1 nsec/m.

The cables’ small size and minimum bending radius make them easy to install in tight places. Because they’re so lightweight, the cables minimize the problems associated with balancing difficult mass budgets. Manufactured as coaxial, triaxial and balanced lines, the cables offer low capacitance and low signal attenuation. Additionally, they provide constant characteristic impedance along the entire cable with minimal reflections, and are listed on the ESA QPL (Qualified Parts List).                                       

GORE Space Cables, Types GBL/GCS/GTX for dataline applications are proven to provide the lightest, most reliable rate of data transmission available in today’s market. They have provided outstanding performance in such applications as high-resolution cameras and digital signal processors for satellites, telescopes, the International Space Station (ISS) and other mission-critical operations.

The Science Behind the Cables

The key to the space cables’ outstanding performance is the proprietary material used in the cable insulation: expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE).

At high frequencies, the electrical properties of the insulation become extremely important, particularly the dielectric constant (εr). The εr for air is 1.0, and the ideal value for cable insulation material should be as close to 1.0 as possible. Expanded PTFE has an εr of 1.3, which means that ePTFE facilitates low capacitance and minimal attenuation along with high signal speed in GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications. Because ePTFE is chemically inert, the cables can even be used at cryogenic temperatures or as high as 260°C for short periods of time.

Continuing Gore’s heritage of contributing cables to spacecrafts — including the Mars Rover and the Apollo 11 mission to the moon — GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications are trusted by some of the most important operations in spacecraft today and in recent history. These include:                                                                     

  • Express MD1/MD2
  • Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV)
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
  • NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
  • XMM               

Aboard these spacecrafts, our cables have served a number of uses. They protect signal transmission in:

  • digital signal processors
  • high-resolution cameras, sensors and detectors
  • high-speed subsystem interconnects

Without the performance of GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications, these operations could be interrupted — for instance, preventing satellites from transmitting images back to Earth. Our cables’ superior electrical performance and mechanical robustness ensure this will never happen.

GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications provide mechanical toughness and strong electrical performance aboard a number of spacecraft types, ensuring that data is successfully transmitted.

The features of our cables that allow this to happen include:

  • lowest weight and smallest diameter available in the market
  • excellent electrical performance
  • superior EMC performance
  • fault-tolerant and standardized LVDS technology
  • high flexibility and low bend radius
  • minimal conductor time delay

As a result, our cables offer many benefits, including:

  • outstanding signal transmission because of electrical performance and fault tolerance
  • long-lasting life resulting from robust insulation
  • easy installation with cable flexibility and low bend radius
  • valued reliability delivered from an ESA-qualified and a DIN EN ISO 9001:2000-certified manufacturing facility

Additionally, our customers receive sales and technical support from our worldwide engineering team. If you have any questions as you consider our cables for your spacecraft application, please contact us.

GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications meet these technical specifications according to ESCC 3902/002 and are listed on the ESA QPL.

Maximum Operating VoltageRanging from 180-300 V RMS
ConductorSilver-plated, high-strength copper alloy
DieletricExpanded PTFE and/or PTFE
Outer jacketPFA
Temperature Range-200°C to +180°C


Ordering Information

GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications vary by impedance, gauge size and construction type. To determine the best cable for your application and place your order, please download the Product Selection Guide or contact us.

Find more information about GORE Space Cables, Types GCX/GTX/GBL for dataline applications in the product data sheet and a white paper discussing the properties of cables that ensure peak electrical performance.

Recent News

Gore announced today several of its next-generation data cable products for aerospace and defense applications have earned an important qualification. The prestigious VG designation from the Bundeswehr, Germany’s unified armed forces as well as related civilian administrative and procurement organizations, is expected to facilitate further adoption of these cables for military use.

Gore announced the expansion of its Coaxial Cables line for defense land system applications. The new product is smaller and lighter than previous offerings, yet capable of transmitting ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K video with excellent shielding from radio frequency interference.

Gore announced today it was named a Silver Supplier for exceptional performance and contributions to supply chain success in 2020 by BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems sector.

View all News & Events


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Cables space

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