In this webinar Peter Hill, Director of Woven Fabrics at Heathcoat Fabrics Limited, explains how their high-quality British manufacturing of specialist fabrics was deployed as an integral part of the NASA rover Perseverance, unmanned spacecraft, a mission to Mars – the parachute. The soft landing on the surface of Mars was successfully achieved earlier this year on 18 February 2021.  

Watch a video of the parachute deployment

This is another FREE Bedfordshire IMechE panel event.

About Heathcoat Fabrics Limited

Heathcoat Fabrics Limited is the market-leading manufacturer redefining technical textiles of knitted and woven fabrics, based in Tiverton, England, UK. Their skills have been developed, honed and perfected over 200 years. 

They aim to solve complex challenges and convert opportunities into value for each customer. This approach has helped them forge a worldwide reputation for unmatched quality, new ideas and total customer focus. Their skills have enabled them to deliver a consistently high standard across multiple industries. They work with world-class suppliers to ensure their capabilities are always above and beyond their competitors – a no-compromise approach.

Heathcoat's focus is not just parachutes, and also includes military-grade textiles meeting the needs of the armed forces and law enforcement in equipment and clothing, body armour – weldable ballistic envelope textiles, flame retardant and heat resistant fabrics for helicopters, tank and jet pilot suits, textiles for healthcare, belting fabrics – timing belts, fire/PPE clothing and equipment and automotive hose textiles, to name just a few of the items they are involved in.   

Visit the Heathcoat Fabrics website

Read a recent article about the Mars mission parachute

About the speaker

Peter Hill is a Director at Heathcoat Fabrics Limited and has been with the company for over 30 years. Peter studied Biological Sciences at Birmingham University and Leadership at Exeter University. At Heathcoat, he has worked as an Industrial Engineer, Production Manager, General Manager of a factory in the midlands and, for over 10 years, as a Director responsible for developing, producing and selling a wide range of technical fabrics to the global market.


  • History of Heathcoat Fabrics
  • How the company got involved in parachutes and space
  • Involvement in the NASA rover Perseverance project
  • Manufacturing process
  • Testing process
  • Future/ongoing projects

Time: 12:00-3:00pm. However, expected run time is 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of Q&As.

Members and non-members welcome. Free to attend. Registration required. Please book using the link above.

This event is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Bedfordshire area.

A recording after the event will be added to the IMechE YouTube channel

Location and travel details

This event will take place online.

Who should attend

Students, staff and the general public.


This is a free to join event but pre-registration is required.