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Mars Curiosity Power System

I found a web page that said it uses Plutonium. I am sure it's not based on fusion or fission. What is the basic idea on which the power plant works?

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marked as duplicate by mbq Sep 5 '12 at 14:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

A recent question answered this: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/34203/… –  Michael Luciuk Sep 5 '12 at 0:00

1 Answer 1

Curiosity uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

A radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG, RITEG) is an electrical generator that obtains its power from radioactive decay. In such a device, the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material is converted into electricity by the Seebeck effect using an array of thermocouples.

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