For decades, our community has been leading the world in the development and testing of nuclear energy technology. Today's focus on sustainable, carbon-free energy has put us back in the spotlight, with programs for the development and use of hydrogen power, as well as biofuels, wind, geothermal, and fossil resources. There is a multitude of opportunities and incentives for energy-related companies, including commercialization programs between national labs and private industry that facilitate technology transfer, and a growing number of research parks and incubators.
August 3, 2012 -- This weekend, a NASA rover named Curiosity will make a never-before-attempted approach to landing on the surface of Mars and begin a two-year mission exploring the planet's Gale Crater area for signs of past and present inhabitability. Curiosity was launched from Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 26, 2011, aboard an Atlas V rocket.
Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on the red planet. Those instruments will be powered by electricity generated from the heat of radioactive decay of Pu-238. The rover's power system was assembled and extensively tested by employees at Idaho National Laboratory.
August 23, 2012 -- Curiosity took its first test drive around the gravel-strewn Martian terrain Wednesday, preparation for the ultimate road trip to find out whether the red planet's environment could have supported life.
The six-wheel NASA rover did not stray far from the spot where it landed more than two weeks ago. It rolled forward about 15 feet, rotated to a right angle and reversed a short distance, leaving tracks in the ancient soil.