Electrical power is critical for exploring Mars

Electrical power is critical for exploring Mars—it keeps radios, computers, and scientific instruments working on Mars lander and rover missions. Electrical power systems must survive Mars’ harsh environment, where temperature extremes, dust storms and high radiation levels from space present challenges to spacecraft systems that must operate long enough for missions to accomplish their scientific goals. Currently, two kinds of electrical power systems are considered—a combination of solar arrays and batteries, and radioisotope power systems.




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