Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL provides tech support to Mars mission

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 28, 2012 — The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a key contributor to the nuclear generator aboard the Mars rover Curiosity.

"Our role is materials production components for producing fuel clads for the nuclear generators that power the Mars science lab," said Jim King, "We also produce insulator sets that are carbon bonded carbon fiber materials that go in these generators."

ORNL's work on this project began in 2004, writing another chapter in the long history of the laboratory's role in assisting with the projects involved with space exploration.

"We've been a continuous program in this area for more than 40 years," King said. "We've developed the alloys and producing components for previous space missions."

ORNL has previously has provided technology support to unmanned missions headed toward Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto and the Voyager planetary probes.

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