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Rugged mobile phone news - Mars rover Curiosity and tough phones

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity landed on the red planet this week, and the number of high-tech instruments on board ready to analyse the dusty surface – along with the materials the craft has been built from to survive a harsh alien environment – could inspire tough mobile phones of the future.

Most rugged mobile phones can already withstand knocks, drops from height, liquids being spilled on them, dust, and extreme high and low temperatures – but if NASA technology was employed to build these handsets they would be even tougher!

On entry to the planet's atmosphere the Curiosity will have had to endure temperatures of around 2,100 degrees Celsius – and could experience temperatures of about -153 degrees Celsius on Mars' surface depending on where it travels.

As well as a huge variation in temperature, the craft will also be exposed to 100% air humidity during Mars night-time, and dust all of the time. Furthermore, some of the winds which whip round the planet can create storms – the dust from which sometimes doesn't settle for months.

Curiosity will have to put up with an awful lot while it conducts its mission to see if Mars could ever have supported life.

Here on Earth our handsets don't need quite the same caliber of tech as the NASA rover does, but it's reassuring to know that a tough mobile phone can withstand pretty much everything this blue planet – and its human inhabitance – can throw at it (or drop it in).