Rogue space junk poses a serious threat to both manned and unmanned spacecraft, since it just takes one wayward screw or fleck of paint to potentially punch a hole in some critical system. NASA has considered everything from balloons to sails to help mitigate the problem, and now the agency is thinking about a laser.
Tractor beams are one of those sci-fi staples that, when you get right down to it, are actually pretty hard to wrap your head around: it's a force that projects outward, and yet it pulls an object inward. Crazy as it is, Chinese researchers may have just figured out how to do just that.
I'm not even close to balding, but for those who are, the days can look real somber when staring into a mirror. Don't let those tears drip out just yet because there is hope! The iGrow promises to help you grow back the hairs you've lost with time.
We just learned that plants are getting in on the bomb detection game, and now lasers are looking to join the club. Not just regular ol' lasers, either — "air lasers."
Chemical rockets operate on essentially the same technology that we've had since the 1930s, and it's dangerous, expensive, and very inefficient. It's high time for a better way of getting to space, and lasers might be the way to do it.
The Soviet 1K17 laser tank looks like something out of Command and Conquer, but it was armed and operational during the early 90s, and it had US Intelligence totally freaked out.
What happens when you dress up a pretty woman in pretty lights and pretty lasers? Well, let's just say that for some reason I've now got it in my head that a Borg dance party would be really hot. Is that wrong? Guys? Guys?
Well, darn it all. Things were looking like they were on track for the Airborne Laser Test Bed (or ALTB), a Boeing 747 equipped with a high-power laser designed to shoot down missiles. Now, after two failed tests by the ALTB, are our high-flying, laser-filled dreams coming to an end?
Laser weapons are slowly becoming a reality, if not a practical one. Long the provenance of sci-fi movies, a laser weapon almost seems an inevitable part of a future military, but current power and size limits have kept them in the lab for the most part. But Lockheed Martin may have figured out a way to solve many of lasers' issues with an inverted prism.
Over at the National Ignition Facility in California is the world's most powerful laser, and its tasked with bringing about the dream of pollution-free, clean fusion energy (well, when it's not busy doing military-related things). It just completed its first firing test at near full energy.