Will Curiosity Have the Longevity of Voyager I?

06 August 2012

Question

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 I'll 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 we're 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, we're kind of in a race to get as much information as we can and if we last 10 years, well we'll still be sending information back.

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