INL Reacts to Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

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Updated: 12/04/2012 10:50 pm

        NASA reported yesterday that the Mars Curiosity Rover has revealed traces of organic compounds. While that is true, scientists are still investigating whether those compounds are Martian or terrestrial.

It’s been just over a year since curiosity was launched; in August it landed on Mars and since then it’s been sending back thousands of images of the planet, we wanted to speak to those who helped put together the battery that powers the rover to see their perspective on the mission.

After years of designing and handling and testing the battery that powers the Mars Curiosity Rover; scientists and engineers at the INL couldn’t be happier of the work it’s doing on mars.

The rover has been on mars for about 4 months now.

“You know it’s thrilling, it really is and just having been involved in getting it to Kennedy Space Center and people there think that wow the battery is so neat and we’re there and we think oh the spacecraft and the rocket is so neat, it’s just, it’s humbling it makes you feel small in this big part and you realize how many people it takes to make this whole thing happen” said Carla Dwight the Deputy Director for the Space Nuclear Systems and Technology Division at the INL.

It took curiosity 8 months from the time it was launched to get to mars.

The rover has already sent over 23,000 photos back.

“It’s just fascinating to me that we can make this happen, and the things that we’ll potentially learn, I mean some of the images that they’ve sent back and you see images that look similar to those in Idaho or New Mexico for example where I grew up and seeing remnants of perhaps a stream bed, it’s just fascinating, so really exciting to be a part of it” continued Dwight.

The whole mission has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the battery for the rover was about $10 Million to build and test.

For more information about curiosity you can click here.

There are 154 million miles from Earth to Mars.

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