OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Mission to Mars has a connection right here in East Tennessee. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is helping provide power to the rover.
Perseverance uses nuclear material produced at ORNL to produce heat, heat that is then turned into electricity.
In 2015 ORNL started the first new domestic production of plutonium-238, which the lab says hadn’t been made in the United States in nearly three decades.
NASA’s launch window for the Mars 2020 mission opens Thursday.
The aim is to study the geology and climate of the red planet. Mission planners hope to land on Mars in February 2021.
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