ANS Nuclear Matinee: Mars Rover Curiosity, A Nuclear Powered Mobile Laboratory

August 3, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Early on Monday morning (1:31AM Eastern Daylight Time), after having traveled 352 million miles, NASA's robotic rover Curiosity is scheduled to touch down inside the Gale Crater on the surface of Mars. Soon after, it will begin looking for clues about possible early forms of Martian life.

The Curiosity rover carries much more scientific equipment than previous Mars rovers. How to run so much heavy, power-intensive scientific research equipment for a mobile laboratory on another planet? Nuclear power!

Ashwin Vasavada, deputy project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory, explains in this week's video.


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Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2022) will be held May 8–12 in Cleveland, Ohio.Register now. ANS members are encouraged to register for the conference and reserve their...