The Idaho National Laboratory will fuel, test and evaluate the flight readiness of the the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, Aerojet Rocketdyne said Tuesday.
MMRTG is designed to convert plutonium-238 heat into electricity to power the rover on its mission to collect samples across the surface of the red planet and return to Earth.
NASA will integrate the generator with spacecraft at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after INL completes the fueling and testing activities.
Aerojet Rocketdyne produced a similar device that continues to generate power for the Mars Curiosity rover.
The company has built MMRTGs under a DOE contract awarded in 2003 and will also provide thrusters designed to help the exploration vehicle reach the Martian atmosphere.