NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently released the much-watched "Seven Minutes of Terror" video, which describes the harrowing descent to the Red Planet that the Mars rover Curiosity will undergo on August 5. Now, from the same lab, comes a look at the chemical tools Curiosity will use to search for signs that Mars could have once sustained life.
Curiosity sets itself apart from other rovers like Spirit and Opportunity by having the ability to act as a robot "geochemist," the video explains. Piloted by a team back on Earth, scientists will steer Curiosity into a nearby crater, then search and test layers for evidence that life could have evolved at one point in the planet's history.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.