NASA Moving Forward With Its Mars Nuclear Destroyer Lasertank

NASA Moving Forward With Its Mars Nuclear Destroyer Lasertank

Following weeks of doubts about the future of the Mars Science Laboratory, the one-ton, nuclear powered, laser-shooting next generation of the waning Mars Phoenix, Lockheed Martin has shipped the vital “backshell” for the landing module, confirming that building is still under way. They also produced a video detailing the amazing landing procedure for the craft, during which a hovering “skycrane” lowers the rover to the ground before dutifully smashing itself into the surface a safe distance away.


The extensive set of onboard scientific equipment (it’s called a laboratory, after all) will allow scientists to more closely analyse soil and rock samples, which can be zapped and disintegrated with the rover’s powerful lasers. A note to NASA: fitting your landing craft with terrifying death rays might make your “We Come in Peace” script sound slightly disingenuous. [NASA via The Register]