Photo Time!

January 20, 2012, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Curiosity rover (Click to enlarge/Photo: NASA)

This summer should see the first use of a nuclear-powered land vehicle-on Mars! On November 26, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which includes a rover named Curiosity, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The MSL/Curiosity package is by far the largest object ever intended to land on Mars and remain functional afterward. That is why Curiosity, in its operations on the Martian surface, will be powered by a multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator fueled with plutonium-238. Curiosity is described as being the size of an automobile.
Read more about Curiosity and the Mars mission in the January 2012 issue of Nuclear News magazine, available in hard copy and electronically for American Nuclear Society members (must enter ANS user name and password in Member Center).

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