Given the life expectancies of all its components (mechanical, electrical, electronic, etc.), how long could the Curiosity rover reasonably be expected to continue performing useful science in an extended mission, and what are the most likely candidates for mission-terminating failures?
Given the Spirit/Opportunity experiences, one might expect to see mechanical failures of various sorts high on the list. Would that be a fair statement or are there other factors at play?
Its on board power plant apparently won't exhaust its fuel for a very long time, although output would gradually decrease. Presumably, the output will be sufficient to perform useful science for many years. However, at some point, things will eventually start to wear out (e.g. wheel bearings), fail (e.g. stuck bits in computer memory) or run out (carrier gas for the chromatograph?). Some of these things might only impact specific experiments or degrade overall mission capability. What could bring the mission to a definite end and what would be the potential time frame of its occurrence?