Keeping it Cool (…or Warm!)
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!
in the technology section