Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the Curiosity Topic

100th DOE R&D Accomplishments Feature Page Celebration

DOE R&D Accomplishments 100th Feature Page

DOE R&D Accomplishments is a unique website and database in the OSTI collection.  For over 14 years, special Feature pages have been methodically researched and useful information collected on scientists, discoveries, and historical events to include in this searchable resource.   It  is a rich source of DOE trivia unto itself. 

On June 12th, 2013, the 100th Feature Page was released on the website and it highlighted 2004 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, David Gross.  Gross joins other featured DOE Nobel Laureates such as Glenn Seaborg, E. O. Lawrence, Melvin Calvin and Saul Perlmutter on this distinguished list.  But there’s more than just Featured Scientists!  Topics are also featured in the list of 100 pages.  These include Topics like: the amazing breakthrough of decoding the human genome; the RTG-which powered many space vehicles including the Curiosity and New Horizons; the...

Related Topics: Curiosity, David Gross, E.O. Lawrence, Glenn Seaborg, human genome, Manhattan Project, Melvin Calvin, nobel laureates, Saul Perlmutter, space, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments


OSTI’s Amazing Dr. Watson

Man with pipe, deerstalker cap, and magnifying glass looking at a computer.

During the past year, Dr. William N. Watson, physicist, of DOE/OSTI’s staff has posted quite a few very interesting white papers in OSTI’s monthly Science Showcase on OSTI’s Home Page.  This quiet, unassuming man crafts prolific papers on popular science topics of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE).  He investigates and assimilates this information from OSTI’s extensive R&D Collections and takes us on a layman’s journey through the technical details and scientific research that make it all possible.

William’s papers have helped us to understand key technologies developed at DOE Laboratories for the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity and how chemical analysis of rocks and soil is determined millions of miles away.  We know what is happening with new heat pump technology and how DOE researchers are working to improve designs and efficiency.The coherence of galaxies and dark energy and dark matter has been explained and the exciting research that is changing what we know about the world around us. William has...

Related Topics: Curiosity, dark energy, dark matter, DOE Science Showcase, free-electron lasers, heat pump, metamaterials, quantum computing, R&D Collections, William Watson


Powering Curiosity; Exploring New Horizons - DOE's MMRTG



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

The MMRTG "can go farther, travel to more places, and power and heat a larger and more capable scientific payload compared to the solar power alternative NASA studied. The radioisotope power system gives Curiosity the potential to be the longest-operating, farthest-traveling, most productive Mars surface mission in history." 1

With the Curiosity safely on Mars, it begins its mission to explore and investigate "whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and [to] preserve clues it finds in the rocks. Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover."1

"For 50 years, radioisotope power sources have safely and reliably fueled dozens of U.S. missions to explore seven planets in the solar system, including the [current] ...

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