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142 comments

Any word... (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857694)

Any word on how we're going to get sharks up there?

Re:Any word... (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857854)

With a giant 'Big Boy' of course!

Re:Any word... (1)

hoy74 (1005419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857906)

If we do, we can get a million dollars from the long standing cosmonauts that live up there.

Re:Any word... (5, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857920)

If you'd paid attention to previous Slashdot discussions:

The space elevator will move too slowly to keep living things from being irradiated by the Van Allen belt surrounding the Earth. The solution is to create a passenger compartment inside a cargo container filled with water, which is a terrific absorber of energy, which in turn can house the sharks.

Elementary, really...

Re:Any word... (2, Informative)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858098)

The solution is to create a passenger compartment inside a cargo container filled with water, which is a terrific absorber of energy, which in turn can house the sharks.

Water goes in cargo container, cargo container goes in rocket, shark goes in water. Our shark.

Shark! (3, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858160)

Water goes in cargo container, cargo container goes in rocket, shark goes in water. Our shark.

We're gonna need a bigger rocket.

Re:Any word... (1)

el_gordo101 (643167) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860038)

Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.

Re:Any word... (1)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858236)

The sharks will be exposed to high radiation levels. Mutant sharks!

I for one will not welcome our mutant shark overlords.

Re:Any word... (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858798)

Mutant sharks will fight the alien! I do welcome the mutant shark overlords!

Re:Any word... (3, Funny)

zitch (1019110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858932)

Muntant sharks with Big Freakin' Laser Beams on their heads in Space? Nothing can possibly go wrong with that!

Re:Any word... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859308)

It will keep away all the extraterrestrials looking for fried chicken.

Re:Any word... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859414)

I'm personally a bit more worried about the extraterrestrials looking for fried human.

Re:Any word... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16859744)

I'd prefer robot mutant sharks with big freakin' laser beams on their heads in space. controlled by ninjas. female mutant robot ninjas.

Re:Any word... (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858796)

...inside a cargo container filled with water...

Made out of transparent aluminum?

Re:Any word... (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859758)

Yes, and the main goal of the laser is to destroy nuclear wessels.

Re:Any word... (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858074)

George W, we have bad news! Sharks are on the endangered species list. We had to get mutant seabass instead.

... yes there ill tempered.

Re:Any word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858200)

Please no more fucking shark jokes.

Re:Any word... (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858668)

okay...

Q: Why don't sharks attack lawyers?
A: Professional courtesy.

... ohhhhh... no more fucking shark jokes... meh... suck it up princess....

Re:Any word... (1)

bsieloff (963111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859788)

Princess, you follow slashdot? Impressed. say hello to the monkey

In transparent aluminum tanks.... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858286)

...obviously. Sheesh, pay attention!

Re:Any word... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16859690)

I see no reference to sharks .... either I can't read, or my Firefox search is broke, or I am missing some l33t inside joke.

Re:Any word... (1)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16861356)

It's an inside joke, for sure, but it's not very l337.

Re:Any word... (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16861534)

Yes, it's a l33t inside Slashdot joke that originated with an article long ago about remote controlled sharks. For an explanation, see here [digg.com] .

Optometrists (4, Funny)

TheSexican (796334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857714)

Maybe they are just planning on giving astronauts laser eye surgery from the ground.

GDI anyone? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16857730)

Finally, we have a weapon capable of defeating the Brotherhood of Nod.

Re:GDI anyone? (1)

knightri (841297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859130)

My favorite edition of the C&c genre. When i first bought the 2-disc set at the Trenton Computer Festival all those years ago I was ripped off. All I got was the GDI disc. Needless to say I was not happy.

sharks (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857738)

But sharks can't breathe vacuum...

So this is how... (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857740)

They are going to warm up a bit of Mars.
Hopefully, they won't "test" it out on targets closer to home first.

Re:So this is how... (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858374)

This just in - Pyongyang a giant whole in ground.

Re:So this is how... (4, Funny)

the_wishbone (1018542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858832)

Good...I think we were all pretty tired of Pyongyang sitting there, all fraction-like. Or maybe it's their nuclear shenanigans we're tired of. Either way, I'm glad it's whole again.

Mod parent very funny! (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860338)

Mod parent very funny! very funny indeed. Grammar Nazi's rejoice, now there is a way to hit people where it hurts and still keep the karma!

B.

lol (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857772)

i though Big Freakin' Laser Beams where for man eating sharks?

They can go big... (1)

SlashGeO (237191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857822)

but when will we see handheld laserguns?

Re:They can go big... (4, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858024)

When we see smaller sharks, of course.

Re:They can go big... (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859364)

Oh don't worry, there are a wide range of reasonably sized shark-based lafrikin-lazer platforms available for deployment. Everything ftom Shoulder-mounted [wikipedia.org] (rocket launcher style) and rifle sized [wikipedia.org] to this guy [fishbase.org] , who could be a nice frikin-lazer-based sidearm...

Also, this one [wikipedia.org] may be a bit big for mobile deployment, but can you imagine one of them with a friken lazer beem on his forehead?

do this at home! (4, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857834)

http://www.vilos.com/lasers/lasers-howto.html [vilos.com]

That's all you need to build a fire-starting laser out of a DVDRW.

He leaves off some of the important details, though :-(

Also, my research suggests this is illegal.

Re:do this at home! (2, Interesting)

waferhead (557795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859084)

Where would this be illegal?

Does anyone have any experience with peak power on these laser diodes?

I recall from working with similar units ages ago that it's far less than average power, but still pretty significant.

(A LED is basically thermally limited, so at a low duty cycle your peak can approach achieve many times the "rated" power...

Laser diodes used in pulsed mode are nowhere near that, it's a power vs area thing, basically the point at which they blow their tiny mirrors/facets off...)

I want to blow little pits (~150 micron) in iron cylinders for oil retention/friction reduction, or perhaps on piston rings. Enough power?

Re:do this at home! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16861528)

So cool. Thanks for the link.

Astronomical Research? (3, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857862)

They are soo sharking Congress on that one.

Real Genius (2, Funny)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857870)

Anyone have a taste for popcorn?

Re:Real Genius (1)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858240)

I'd settle for just some guidance to the party.

Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857874)

Bush just can't wait for Democrats to take the blame for retreating from his Iraq War, so Bush can get back to his original plan to spend $TRILLIONS on his favorite boondoggle, the Star Wars missile defense.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858012)

Actually, history reveals that when the Democrats are in power, laser weapons get more money and positive attention than at other times. Remember that when "Star Wars" was funded, it was a Democrat-controlled Congress that signed on the dotted line. Clinton did wonderful things for the laser weapons industry. . .

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858278)

Wasn't this the dream of Regan not Bush?

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

antv (1425) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859108)

It was (and still is) a dream of defense contractors to waste taxpayers money on unworkable "star wars" system.
Pretty much all politicians - i.e. Reagan, Bush, the democrats - are in the pocket of defense contractors, so all politicians share the same dream of funding this bullshit.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860646)

Wanna know the big secret though? By working on anti-satellite weapons they send out the message that it is ok for other countries to do the same. Of course since the US is far more dependent on satellites than any other country we'll have to turn around and develop anti-satellite defenses! Just like how they are working on cruise missle detection after years of developing stealthy cruise missles.

The defense industry creates its own business. It isn't called welfare if the recipient has "inc." after their name.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858328)

Wrong, Anonymous Republican Coward.

It was a Democratic Congress under Reagan that outlawed Star Wars. Although the Pentagon and CIA/NSC entitlement budgets hid covert Star Wars budgets for years, despite Democrats' attempts to stop them [google.com] , even when Democrats were powerless in the minority - the last 12 years, the last 6 under Bush.

Shouldn't you be busy blaming Iraq on Democrats, like the rest of your party's covert pundits? Or do you all have too much time on your hands to stay busy the last 2 months you're actually running the country? I guess marketing is always Republican job #1.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858646)

Yes, obviously because he contradicted you he must be a Republican who marches in complete political and philosophical lockstep with the Bush Administration. Also, the sky is green.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16860254)

You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860890)

YOU! ARE! A! TOY! A CHILD'S PLAYTHING!
Slashdot's lameness filter hates Toy Story.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16861158)

Actually, I'm pretty sure Doc Ruby is an AI.

My biggest worry about Star Wars (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859372)

is what happens when a scandal comes up involving it. I hope to god the media doesn't call it Stargate...

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858470)

Moderation -1
    100% Troll

TrollMods fleeing the losing Republican Congressional campaigns are already finding astrollturf work at defense contractors. Hint: the "astro" in "astrollturf" is a reference to synthetic grass, not the space program.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858718)

It'll only be a boondoggle if, after spending a "$TRILLIONS", the laser fails to work when the residents of YOUR_CITY_HERE need it...

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859686)

Would you like to buy my magic tiger-repelling rock for a mere $5,000? It's only a boondoggle if it fails to work and you get mauled by a tiger...

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859906)

You assume that the whole premise of using directed energy to destroy an object in-flight is flawed. It's not. The only thing flawed is your capicity for reason in addition to a high probability that you loathe any technical advance that may translate into US military superiority. Doesn't matter to you one bit that anti-ballistic lasers may on some future day save millions of people from instant cremation.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860040)

It's also a boondoggle if it turns out to cost a huge amount and never gets used.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860810)

I don't assume anything about the morality or technical feasibility of missile defense lasers. I just wanted to point out that your argument is silly because it applies equally well to rational defense methods and to ludicrous "magic rock" defenses.

Now if only there were a way to channel the explosive rage of a drudge report fan's TERRORIST! COMMIE!! LIBERAL!!! AMERICA-HATER!!!! outbursts into a missile defense weapon...

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859952)

We've spent $BILLIONS on Star Wars, and it doesn't work. It's a boondoggle.

Just because you didn't read about it in the Drudge Report doesn't mean it isn't true. It means it is true.

Remind me again which master of the economy you've been voting for the past 6 years? Which master of military strategy? Which master of science?

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860554)

Absolutely right! It doesn't work because Doc Ruby says it doesn't work. And we all know that Doc Ruby doesn't have to support his accusations/trolls/flamebaits with such trivial things as facts.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (2, Informative)

CodeMasterPhilzar (978639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858914)

"...boondoggle..." ???


Not hardly, it works, and works a heck of a lot better than you might think from reading "mainstream media" accounts. Also note, it is less expensive than you might think. If you sum up all the $ spent on missile defense since the mid 1980s, it is just slightly over the amount the attacks on 9/11 cost this country's economy. In my book, that's cheap insurance against events that would be significantly more costly to the country than 4 airliners.


Also, Missile Defense is not the same as Reagan's "Star Wars." The real Missile Defense system is far more practical and pragmatic than the grand vision. Someday, yes, there will be a version of that vision. But the current Missile Defense system is firmly rooted in real-world technologies.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860012)

Of course, since you say so, it must work. After all, the generals and defense contractors conning us into paying for it say so, so you should say so, too. I bet you also said Iraq would be a cakewalk. I bet you blame all the money lost by our economy since 2001 on the Qaeda attacks, not the boob spending a $TRILLION a year on the Pentagon.

What "book" of yours would all that lost money be in? The Halliburton shareholders report?

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16860278)

Strawman arguments are lies.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

CodeMasterPhilzar (978639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16861438)

I would suggest you refrain from making a baseless personal attacks on Generals and Corporations.


I never said anything about Iraq or Al-Qaeda. I don't claim any in-depth knowledge in those areas. When it comes to Missile Defense however, I do know what I'm talking about. Does your work email address end in @mda.mil? If not, I suggest you listen to people who do know. Diluting your argument with ad hominem attacks and other topics does not help your case.

Re:Focusing Like a Laser on the Economy (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860408)

Interesting that you compare the cost of the missile defense to the cost of 9/11, which of course didn't bother with missiles.

If I secretly had a nuke, I could blow up pretty much any coastal city in the world without a problem.

Where's Laslo? (2, Funny)

Ark (7744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857892)

Finally my dream of making a house full of popcorn while listening to Tears for Fears will be realized!

Re:Where's Laslo? (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858874)

He's off somewhere recalculating the odds of his winnings, and probably getting really high.

Spoiler Warning - Bruce Sterling Novel (2, Informative)

count0 (28810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857898)

So, is Bruce Sterling's Zenith Angle [sfreviews.net] mentioned? Since among the many things it covers is exactly the idea of anti-satellite weaponization of adaptive optical tech.

cz

Re:Spoiler Warning - James Follett Novel (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859264)

James Follett's novel 'Torus' also explores this concept.

Re:Spoiler Warning - Tom Clancy Novel (1)

letsgolightning (1004592) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860986)

Cardinal of the Kremlin

Also... SIMPSONS DID IT

(please don't mod me down for reading Tom Clancy)

I for one... (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857912)

I for one welcome our new space-laser wielding overlords!

Shower doors (3, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857940)

We see through a glass darkly--somewhat like trying to spy on beauty through textured-glass shower doors.

Ok, forget space, I want a laser-telescope-camera at home right now if it can see through next-doors shower door.

I don't like the summary's phrasing (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16857972)

"This facility was the subject of a New York Times article earlier this year which suspected the facility was conducting anti-satellite weapons research under the cover of astronomy."
In reality, a lot of astronomy stuff, by its very nature, qualifies as dual-use technology.

You can use it for star-gazing... or weaponize it without much effort. It's just the nature of the beast.

It's a USAF project, no s**t it's military!!! (5, Interesting)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858366)

I actually worked for a company that a did a lot of the initial work in designing the storage system used at StarFire (which had some pretty nasty data capture requirements because of the highly "bursty" nature of the data capture.) From what I understood of the limited amount we were told the idea was to use an array of smaller optical telescopes and image analysis software to create a "mosaic" of the overall image that was corrected for atmospheric distortion. While nothing was said at the time, the implication was that this was for ABM, not anti-satellite, i.e. it was to make easier to shoot something down with a laser inside the atmosphere. Of course, the trick was not producing the image per-se, but producing it fast enough to be useful as part of a firing solution, i,.e a crystal clear shot of the target that takes 5 minutes to produce is of limited utility :-) Of course the technology has a number of potential uses, both military and non-military, but that's true of just about any large hi-tech experiment. Given that StarFire is run and funded by the USAF (not NASA or a University institute like JPL), I don't think should come as any great surprise that they are rather more interested in it's military applications.

Re:It's a USAF project, no s**t it's military!!! (2, Interesting)

KevinKirmse (984586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858868)

I worked on the design and deployment of that same storage system. My impression was that the work done at Starfire was multipurpose. The military certainly has a fair number of reasons to have better optical systems. Given that the project was already in progress over six years ago I kind of doubt that the project and current interest in anti satalite systems have much connection.

Re:It's a USAF project, no s**t it's military!!! (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859142)

You may not remember it Kevin, but you were actually working with me (NSIM=Nik Simpson) :-)

Re:It's a USAF project, no s**t it's military!!! (2, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860856)

From what I understood of the limited amount we were told
Of course, the trick was not producing the image per-se, but producing it fast enough to be useful as part of a firing solution, i,.e a crystal clear shot of the target that takes 5 minutes to produce is of limited utility

I suspect you misunderstood entirely - as a crystal clear picture is pretty useless in generating a firing solution, whether produced in 5 nanoseconds or 5 minutes. To generate a firing solution, you need (at a minimum) relative position and hopefully range. Once you have several sucessive sets, you can derive the reminder of the firing terms merely from the change in relative position. [1]
 
Pictures don't help do this except in bad SF movies where they put crosshairs on a screen. Pictures *do* help with positive target ID (I.E. screening out decoys.)

[1] You can derive range and velocity from sucessive relative positions by plugging in 'guesses' as to each and seeing if they produce an identical set of relative positions. Of course the more terms you have to start with (derived directly from observation), the more you can constrain the spread of any remaining terms that must be 'guessed' and the faster you can obtain a solution.

Disclaimer: Yes, I have worked fire control IRL, just not on this kind of system. I have studied systems much akin to it as a non-professional.

darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858022)

"suspected the facility was conducting anti-satellite weapons research under the cover of astronomy"

I knew those local telescope guys were up to something. Standing in the field pointing strange tubes at the sky.
Looking at stars they say, bothering the sheep I say, anti-satellite slashdot says.

Too obscure? (1)

scottennis (225462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858084)

But can it whistle, or is it still like a goldfish?

Re:Too obscure? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858210)

not after the variable star discussion just the other day.

Re:Too obscure? (1)

liak12345 (967676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859442)

Had I mod points, I would mod. I laughed.

The work they are doing is amazing (2, Interesting)

weinerofthemonth (1027672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858290)

FTA: "The same electromechanical pistons that shape the adaptive-optics mirrors hold the whirling primary mirror's true shape (to a precision of twenty-one nanometers, three thousand times finer than a human hair) while small, fast-steering mirrors cancel out additional jitter." The accuracy they are able to obtain is amazing. Before you know it, they will be able to fire a small projectile from a satellite and eliminate a target as small as a human. In a few years, enemy leaders will not even be able to go outside without fear of a bullet falling from the heavens and crashing into their skull. Cool.

Re:The work they are doing is amazing (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858678)

Cool

Not for the enemy. And by the way, please report to Room 101.

Re:The work they are doing is amazing (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859188)

"three thousand times finer than a human hair"

I wish people would quit using this measurement - I'm bald, and I've never measured a hair from any part of my body.

Lasers, Shmasers - the name says it all. (2, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858344)

They're using the telescope to spy on that orange chick from the Teen Titans.

Lasers! Weapons! Outerspace! (5, Interesting)

adageable (972913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858372)

Hmm... back when I was a graduate student at Penn State in the 90's, we could often see the remote sensing teams testing LIDAR (think RADAR, but with laser light). The laser was quite powerful, seemed to extend all the way up to the heavens, and could be seen for miles around.
Perhaps I'm just a bit jaded that them "city folks" (aka The New York Times) seems to think that anyone beaming a laser into the sky must want to destroy stuff.
Hrmpth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIDAR [wikipedia.org]

Re:Lasers! Weapons! Outerspace! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16859610)

The last time I saw them testing it was around 2000... they usually do it late at night, and not too often apparently...

KFC (2, Funny)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858420)

So, now they are trying to fry the kentucky chicken with a laser?

I'm going to call it... (0)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858606)

The Alan Parson's Project...

In other news ... (2, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858682)

The British Government have confirmed the existence of their sister program, The Torchwood Institue [wikipedia.org] , having recently demonstrated its latest ground to space design over the holidays [wikipedia.org] .

[/remove tongue from cheek]

Adaptive Optics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16858710)

The multi-use part of this is very true. I work for a company that creates the sensors and mirrors discussed in TFA. We make sure that its useful for laser weapons, laser research, laser cutting/welding, medical and opthalmology, and astronomy. The main challenge has been in bringing down prices to be used in more common applications.

Bad Headline (0)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858924)

Anyone who's seen Stargate SG-1 knows that the official Air Force term is "Big Honkin'", not "Big Freakin'".

Re:Bad Headline (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859440)

In addition, it wasn't under the cover of "astronomy", it was under the cover of "deep-space telemetry".

Esquire? (3, Funny)

CodeMasterPhilzar (978639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16858982)

Isn't that a Men's clothing magazine? Since when do we get technology information from Esquire? That's like going to Dr. Dobbs looking for a pie recipe or Car and Driver for gardening tips.

And so where is the news here ? (2, Funny)

cbelt3 (741637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859614)

I worked for a company that delivered a 3.5M BEAM DIRECTOR to AFWL in the 90's. Notice the caps. So why is this a surprise to anyone ? The program was DESIGNED to **CLASSIFIED **** in the **CLASSIFIED*** stage of flight. Of course it has other uses. Beam source was a GPFEL.

However, trust me on this, it's too damn big to attach to a shark's head. Even a whale shark. A space based shark, maybe, but you'll have a tough time getting something the size of a small skyscraper into orbit. Not to mention the nuke plant to power it.

The solution (1)

Alcari (1017246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16861016)

Is obviously to aquire bigger sharks, With nuclear reactors on their backs.

Thanks again NYT. (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859750)

Leave it to the NYT to try to out a military research project that might be aimed at PROTECTING US FROM MISSLES!!

If you still read the NYT for any kind of real reporting, KILL YOURSELF.

If the USAF uses Starfire... (3, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16859930)

If the USAF uses Starfire, they're going to go out of mana pretty quickly. I hope they have a lot of MP/5 and know when to use that Innervate.

This is a dupe (1)

CurbyKirby (306431) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860006)

The subject line should have said:

Warming a Very Tiny Piece of Mars For Terraforming

People are surprised by this? (2, Informative)

photontaker (1020241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16860446)

If you go look at the web page for the starfire optical range it clearly mentions the "Directed Energy Directorate's Starfire Optical Range". A large number of good observatories are at least partially funded by the Air Force... MRO in New Mexico is a perfect example. Regardless a lot of the information saying these things dates back to 1998 and 2001. The Air Force also has some neat tricks up it sleeve doing optical interferometry (which is especially tricky since you really need to know the position of your mirrors to within the wavelength that you're working with). Last I heard though, that was limited by the fact that someone dropping a garbage can in the next room could throw things out of alignment. There's one thing that people are overlooking too, it's great to be able to observe things with adaptive optics systems. I have another friend in astronomy who has actually been able to resolve stars using an Air Force system. The trick though is that stars aren't putting out enough energy to disrupt the atmosphere. If you suddenly start pumping enough energy through the atmosphere to destroy a satellite, you're going to do a lot of local heating and there's no way you could modify your beam fast enough to keep it nice and tight. You might as well use a non-adaptive telescope.
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