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The Nuclear Battery Aboard Perseverance, the Next-Gen Mars Rover

NASA’s next-generation Mars rover Perseverance, which successfully launched on July 30 atop an Atlas 5 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, will depend on a “nuclear battery” for electrical power when it completes its seven-month journey to the Red Planet.


Idaho National Laboratory (INL) celebrated the launch of the rover, and especially the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). MMRTGs essentially use radioisotope power systems (RPS) to convert heat from the natural decay of Pu-238 radioisotope into electricity. RPSs are ideal for space missions because they are compact, durable and reliable, providing continuous power over long periods of time as INL explained in a special feature on its homepage on Thursday.


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Source: POWER Magazine