Here's The Cool Technology That Keeps Curiosity Roving Through The Day

NASA’s Curiosity rover is being powered by a rod of a Plutonium 238 isotope. This is different than previous Mars rovers, which were powered by solar panels. 

The technology, called a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, is actually a relatively old innovation used as far back as the Apollo missions.

It works by converting heat generated off the rod’s radioactive decay into energy.  

Here’s NASA’s official video explaining the device:

More From Curiosity:

  • TOUCHDOWN CONFIRMED! NASA’s Curiosity Rover Successfully Lands On Mars And Transmits First Pictures
  • The Very First Pictures Of Curiosity On Mars
  • The New Mars Rover Would Be Crippled Without These Instruments 
  • VIDEO: Curiosity Landing On Mars 

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Tagged In

nasa science-us space