Laser Whips are going to Mars?

NASA is claiming that the next big object we’re sending to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is going to be packing some serious firepower.  You guessed it, the MSL is going to have a Laser Whip.

Robot using its laser whip. Image credit: J-L. Lacour/CEA/French Space Agency (CNES)

Well, maybe not quite a Laser Whip, but it WILL have a laser.  Turns out that lasers can be used to identify rocks! Who knew?  I mean, if I was given the option of investigating rocks with either a shovel or a laser, I would go with the obvious choice.  However, I would be wrong, because lasers can tell you all kinds things about rocks that a shovel just can’t detect.

So trusty!

So, in conclusion, if you’re going to be battling any members of the Order of Venom on Mars, go with the trusty shovel and leave the laser wielding robot alone, because someone on Earth is going to get really annoyed if they have another Mars Rover Mishap.