NASA has reported that its Mars Science Laboratory is still under construction, but is moving forward at a creepy-crawly-Mars-rover-type pace. That is boring. What is not boring is the insane landing sequence (vid after jump) and the fact that it’s got nuclear-powered friggin’ laser beams on its head.
There’s just so many awesome words in the reports on this thing, it gives my man-brain a figurative erection. A short, but awesome list: lasertank, skycrane, ablative heat shield, retro-rockets, plutonium battery pack, $1.5 billion…I just came (again, figuratively. I’m no mechaphiliac).
The plan is for the lasertank to be sent to Mars where it’ll roll around analyzing rocks and looking for water. The way it does that is by vaporizing (or, vapourizing if your British) the rock samples it collects in order to analyze them on a molecular level.
And, should it be necessary, the lasertank could decimate Martian populations plunging us into a galactic war for the foreseeable future.