Friday, May 05, 2006

Star Wars Really!

I was surprised this morning when I looked on Yahoo News to find the headline read, “US seeks laser weapon to shoot down enemy satellites.” Now this is cool. According to the news report, NASA is developing a ground-based weapon that uses a concentrated light beam to destroy enemy satellite floating in space. It was a secret project, uncovered by New York Times reporters sifting through Air Force budget documents. That’s what I call investigative reporting. This is huge news. Though they are years away from effectively using this weapon, which relies on motor controls and mirrors to counteract atmospheric disturbances while delivering the high energy beam to space, this is a step in the right direction for all of us space battle fans. Imagine that we can use this laser to shoot down not only space satellites but alien invaders as well. Pentagon officials have said that the White House wants them to look into this type of technology to protect American assets and I couldn’t agree more.

That being said, I am not sure who has the type of technology that we need to defend against. In the days of the Cold War and the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union I could see this initiative taking great priority in research labs and large defense companies all over the United States, but now? Isn’t our major enemy a group of rugged, dirty, terrorists located somewhere in the hills between Pakistan and Afghanistan? I can imagine that when we find Osama Bin Laden we’d need a precision laser pointed at some cave to fry his ass but unless he’s hooked up with the Chinese there’s little chance he’s floating around space waiting to drop Jihadist weapons from up there.

Unless they know something we don’t.

Are there threats from space that we haven’t imagined yet? Are the Chinese planning on launching satellites that can drop bombs on us or worse yet, destroy the treasured XM satellite? On the other hand, perhaps that’s not so ridiculous after all. If some rouge government like the Iranian or Koreans can get something into space they’d probably have no qualms about using it against us. They would take no issue with using a small floating vessel to destroy our GPS the Hubble or Spitzer Space Telescopes. That would be a tragedy.

Alas, the weapon is “years and years and years into the future” according to a senior Pentagon official. Those damn officials, always unnamed, always vague.

Check out the news article on Yahoo.



Phats said...

Hmm space travel interest me greatly, not sure I would ever wanna go up there. That would be neat if Nasa could develope this

ObilonKenobi said...

It's a long way off though. I think that if Bush gets his way we'll have a laser in every backyoard and a chicken in every pot.

The Phoenix said...

There has been lots of work towards protecting the Earth from extraterrestrial threats. Of course, we haven't heard about them in the public forum much.

ObilonKenobi said...

That's your next article and podcast Phoenix!