NASA isn't screwing around with its next Mars mission. They're sending a new rover, the Mars Science Laoratory (MSL), and it's a big one. Weighing nearly 1,800 pounds and nearly the size of a small car, it packs so much scientific gadgetry that it needs nuclear power to run, as solar arrays won't be enough to give it the juice it needs.
What kind of gadgetry, you ask? Well, it'll have a laser on board capable of evaporating rock samples from over 40 feet away, three cameras, an alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer, and of course wheels and an engine to get around. Basically, it's a badass piece of space tech. It should head to Mars in 2009, giving us all sorts of fun data on the red planet. Check out a really amazing video of the MSL in action after the jump.