Science Questions

Will Curiosity Have the Longevity of Voyager I?

Sun, 5th Aug 2012

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Question

Paul Hunter, via Facebook asked:

Will the Mars Curiosity Rover have the longevity of the Voyager I, which 34 years later, is still providing information?

Answer

David -   Well, we sure hope so.  I think Ill be well-retired by then, but it is nuclear powered so we won't have the problem of solar panels getting covered with dust.  I guess really the only issue were going to have is that same nuclear power that keeps us going is also going to be firing off neutrons at us at a rapid rate.  And those neutrons can cause damage over time so, were kind of in a race to get as much information as we can and if we last 10 years, well well still be sending information back.

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