1. Infinity and Beyond!

    Curiosity to Test Laser

    IN SPACE - AUGUST 6: In this handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a view of Mount Sharp is seen in the distance taken by NASA's Curiosity rover front hazcam and transmitted to Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on August 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California. The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbe. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech via Getty Images)

    NASA / JPL-Caltech via Getty Images

    A science-fiction dream is about to become reality, if on a pretty small scale. The Mars rover Curiosity, which landed on the Red Planet earlier this month, has been undergoing a series of checkups before it begins its real work, and later tonight is scheduled to test its laser by burning a hole in a small rock. Next week, engineers will take Curiosity for a short drive before it goes on its first real mission: driving 1,300 feet to a spot with varied terrain and ending up at the foot of a mountain by year's end in search of evidence of microbial aliens.

    Read it at Associated Press