Next Mars rover to have frikken laser beams built in.
NASA has announced the next Mars rover - named Curiosity - will have a new tool for analyzing soil and rocks. The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) will be able to use a laser to excite a small point on a sample, then observe as it heats up and identify its chemical composition by analyzing the spectrum of light it gives out.
NASA hopes to use the instruments to find if life has existed on Mars, or if the conditions could at least have been suitable for life.
Curiosity will launch in late 2011, arriving on Mars in August 2012.