Who needs a hammer…

…when you have a nuclear-powered, tractor-wheeled, laser-toting monster truck rover to drive over rocks and smash them to bits, like the Hulk with a bad head..?

People often say that one thing the rovers can’t do on Mars is look inside rocks, like a human geologist would do. Well, that’s not always true. Curiosity and Opportunity both have tools they can use to grind or drill a little way beneath the surface of martian rocks, to expose and study the minerals there, but creative driving can turn the rovers into weapons of scientific destruction, breaking open rocks to allow scientists a glimpse of the secrets hiding inside.

Opportunity did this last year, when she found and then drove over “Homestake”, a small exposed vein of the mineral gypsum at the northern end of Cape York…

before after

HS sparkly 3

Never one to be left out, Curiosity has been doing the same thing, and a couple of sols ago she ran over a rock which promptly shattered, scattering bits of itself in all directions, including one large piece highlighted in the previous post. Take a look at teh scene, with these images I’ve enhanced to bring out detail and texture…

broken rocks 2b

rock b2

Looking forward to more “Hulk! Smash!” action from Curiosity…

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