Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do

Or at least similar ones. Was watching the press conference on the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars and they were explaining that even though Curiosity has a plutonium power source, the craft runs off something like 80-amp-hours of batteries and they trickle charge these from the power plant at night. They get something like 100 watts out of a thermocouple generator. So they're watching their power use carefully!

I don't think I can afford the full-price plutonium power plant that will be at West Marine--I'll be waiting for Defender
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do

Not to worry, arf. Supposedly the USSR had some 2000 (two thouand) strontium piles deployed in remote areas to power aircraft navigation beacons and other equipment, and they were unprotected and unaccounted for after the USSR fell apart.

Word got out mainly after some hunters huddled around the base of one to stay warm on a cold night--and were subsequently treated for radiation sickness.

So somewhere out there, there are possibly 2000 nuclear power packs, for sale to the highest bidder

Got any brand name or specific technology type for the batteries on Curiousity?
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Re: Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do

Apparently Curiosity is using lithium ion batteries made by Yardney Electric. No info on size, output. Totally custom jobs though.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Got any brand name or specific technology type for the batteries on Curiousity?
Probably made in China
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Curiosity Has the Same Battery Worries We Do

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Not to worry, arf. Supposedly the USSR had some 2000 (two thouand) strontium piles deployed in remote areas to power aircraft navigation beacons and other equipment, and they were unprotected and unaccounted for after the USSR fell apart.

Word got out mainly after some hunters huddled around the base of one to stay warm on a cold night--and were subsequently treated for radiation sickness.
Yep, this incident happened in Georgia while I was there. Three guys "found" the Strontium 90 RTG, and had been using it as a heat source -- not only as a space heater but also as a camp stove. IIRC, two of the three actually survived...
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