Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
JPL Banner
Mars Science Laboratory
Home
SPOTLIGHT
12.08.2008

Keeping it Cool (...or Warm!)

This is a series of three rotating images. The first image shows the body of the Mars Science Laboratory rover with the tubes from the rover's 'radiator' system on the outside and inside of the body. The second image is a technical illustration of the outline of the tubes by themselves, with different parts of the system highlighted in red, green, blue and yellow. The final image is of the team of 14 engineers who worked on this part of the rover. Two women and twelve men are on the team.

If the car-size Mars Science Laboratory rover overheats or if it stalls because it's cold, you can't call a tow truck on Mars! To keep the rover running, engineers just installed a pump system similar to a car's radiator. The pump circulates temperature-regulating fluid through the rover's body with 200 feet of tubes.

Mars' temperature can change dramatically from day to night. Sensitive equipment (such as computers, radio transmitters, science instruments and batteries) can only operate at certain temperatures. The pump works together with other parts to cool the rover when it's too hot or to redirect excess heat from its power source if it's too cold.

On Mars, the pump must run constantly, and if it failed, the rover would die. Now, with the radiator system connected, the team can test how it works with the rover's parts, ensuring the rover keeps its cool (or heat) on Mars!

More in the technology section


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Higher Res Images:
  In this image shows the body of the Mars Science Laboratory rover with the tubes from the rover's 'radiator' system on the outside and inside of the body.
Full Size Still Image
This image is a technical illustration of the outline of the tubes by themselves, with different parts of the system highlighted in red, green, blue and yellow.
Full Size Still Image
This image is of the team of 14 engineers who worked on this part of the rover. Two women and twelve men are on the team.
Full Size Still Image

Return to News Archive


USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY