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Culture > Diversion

What if you could test-drive NASA’s badass Mars Rover?

Well, American TV host Stephen Colbert just did…in New York City

Oh, the juvenile things we want to do with this. SCREENSHOT FROM CBS

We’re used to getting calls from carmakers and being offered weeklong test drives of the latest vehicles on our market. So we’re also quite familiar with the exciting feeling of having nice automobiles delivered to our office. Even so, what we experience on a regular basis is nothing compared to being lent a Mars Rover prototype by none other than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Imagine seeing this thing right outside your workplace…

It looks like the mutant offspring of the Batmobile Tumbler and an M4 Sherman tank. Freaky. SCREENSHOTS FROM CBS

This Batmobile-on-steroids-looking vehicle was recently “test-driven” by American talk show host Stephen Colbert around Midtown Manhattan in New York City. We guess if you’re a celebrity with millions of followers around the world, NASA lets you play with its expensive toys.

Because space rovers are best used for silly stunts. SCREENSHOTS FROM CBS

Colbert asked astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to join him for the ride, and it was a blast. They were like two giddy kids (okay, maybe just Colbert) set loose inside a toy store. The TV personality even had to see what would happen if one of the Mars Rover’s wheels rolled over some eggs. Stupid, yes, but fun to watch. And then it was time to drive the machine that’s actually designed to travel on another planet.

No need to smoke pot whenever you’re driving this thing. You automatically get high riding it. SCREENSHOT FROM CBS

Needless to say, the people strolling in the area couldn’t believe what they were looking at. Either they thought they were in the middle of a Marvel movie shoot or they feared there was some kind of invasion.

We bet they were eagerly expecting the Avengers to appear at some point. Just too surreal. SCREENSHOTS FROM CBS

You have to watch the video because our words will never accurately describe what really went down on the day NASA let a comedian commandeer one of its high-tech contraptions.

Driving the Mars Rover



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 23 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll.



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