Curiosity Mission To Mars Powered By Nuclear Generator (+VIDEO)
A special nuclear generator, designed by Idaho National Laboratory, kicked into action as soon as the rover landed on Mars to avoid the problems caused by dust pollution of the previously used solar panels. Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTP, an energy source relying on the heat generated by decaying plutonium dioxide is designed to run the Curiosity Rover for at least one Martian year. The nuclear generator brings both heat, carried by liquid Freon, and 110 watts of steady electricity from an array of iridium capsules holding a ceramic form of plutonium dioxide. The Curiosity is a robotic science lab with sophisticated instruments meant for taking ground samples and analyzing the chemicals search for life and needing much power.