BOISE -- In eastern Idaho, INL engineers recently created the $100 million radioactive battery that will give Curiosity the electricity it needs to do all its work.

Curiosity is waiting to lift off in Florida. Sitting atop this Atlas 5 rocket, the Curiosity Mars Rover is the largest and most complex machine ever built to explore another planet. One of its key components was made in Idaho.

It certainly is a long way from the Kennedy Space Center to the sage brush of Idaho's desert country. INL's Fuels and Materials Complex is an exciting place where the batteries to fuel missions in outer space are built.

Inside this super secure facility, Stephen Johnson is the director of INL's Space Nuclear Systems and Technology Division, the Space Battery Boss.

This is perhaps not the biggest program at INL but it's the best and funnest. We get to build real products and we get to send them into outer space, said Johnson.

One of those products is on its way to Pluto.

In 2006, New Horizons lifted off for its nine year voyage to the very edge of our solar system. Once there the INL produced plutonium battery, will be the power source for all of the crafts computers.

Much sooner, just nine months from now, the latest version will be put to the test on Mars.

The essence of this program is harnessing the heat given off by radio active decay and turning it into electricity, said Johnson. The heat given off by radio active decay, that's the same as a lump of coal, except our lump of coals lasts about 90 years.

Its takes Johnson just 60 seconds to show us how the nuclear power source inside the battery is assembled, but when it's hot with radioactive material, this same simple process is done inside a glove box like this... and that takes days to accomplish.

And that's just the beginning. The battery undergoes months of painstaking tests to see if it can withstand every imaginable accident or challenge.

When we do a project, we're all about getting it done and getting it done right. because you can't go up there and fix it, said Johnson.

So they bring up there, down here.

This gives us the perfect environment to get the certified power reading that what you're actually going to find when you're actually going to find when you're in space, said Johnson.

Johnson says his team of about 50 INL scientists will throw a party when Curiosity enters Mars atmosphere and begins the descent to the planet's surface, they'll be together for the moment of truth - when their battery brings life to Curiosity.

That's going to be a tremendous feeling of pride. said Johnson.

Many of them are at Cape Canaveral right now doing last minute checks and excited to send Curiosity on its way. Their handiwork the power behind a mission to discover if Mars is or ever was capable of supporting microbial life.

The mission to Mars is scheduled to lift off around 8 a.m. on November 26th. The Curiosity should land on Mars in August.

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