lasers stories

 
Asteroids aren't something to be concerned about on a day to day basis, but once every couple hundred years or so, we get hit with a doozy. The last one hit Siberia in 1908, so it's about time to start to come up with a defense plan, and one new idea involves a bunch of tiny satellites with solar-powered lasers.
 
Rounding out our rather comprehensive vending machine coverage as of late (there are VMs for raw milk, devastating emergencies and, of course, cupcakes), here's perhaps the most ridiculous of them all. Doritos has erected a massive 56-foot-tall shrine to its cheese-powered product down in Austin, Texas for SXSW, which also happens to double as a laser-blasting concert stage.
 
Fusion is the way our sun powers itself. It's clean, it's efficient, and all you need is hydrogen, which we've got a bunch of stashed away in the ocean. We've been having trouble making fusion happen here on Earth, because we don't have any suns lying around to do it for us, but this could be the year where we make it happen, efficiently, with giant lasers.
 
On Sunday, a group of amateur astronomers in San Antonio fired a one-watt blue laser up at the ISS and scored a direct hit, a first in ISS history. And instead of getting hunted down and arrested (which is what usually happens when you shoot lasers at flying things owned by the Feds), they got a congratulatory email from an astronaut.

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