OSTIblog Articles in the Mars rover Topic

Powering Curiosity; Exploring New Horizons - DOE's MMRTG

by Mary Schorn 09 Aug, 2012 in Products and Content

DOE's RTG is doing it again. The Department's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) is providing continuous power to the Mars rover Curiosity.  This radioactive power source is "essentially a nuclear battery that will operate the rover’s instruments, robotic arm, wheels, computers and radio. It is fueled with plutonium-238 that gives off heat as it naturally decays. No moving parts are required to convert this heat into electricity."1

Related Topics: Curiosity, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments, Mars rover, MMRTG, New Horizons, Pluto, plutonium, Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, RTG, space battery