Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Airborne Lasers and Algae Jet Fuel

A high-powered laser aboard a modified Boeing Co 747 jumbo jet shot down an in-flight ballistic missile for the first time, highlighting a new class of ray guns best known from science fiction.1

It's still unknown whether this will have any 'real world' value, but it does show that the U.S. is quite capable of dominating sectors which receive government support. For the U.S., this is military equipment and weapons systems.
Just read this, and it's probably a better example:

The brains trust of the Pentagon says it is just months away from producing a jet fuel from algae for the same cost as its fossil-fuel equivalent.

The claim, which comes from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) that helped to develop the internet and satellite navigation systems, has taken industry insiders by surprise.3

1'Flying laser zaps missile in first for U.S.' ; Reuters; Wolf
2'Airborne Laser Testbed Successful in Lethal Intercept Experiment' - Department of Defense Press Release
3'Algae to solve the Pentagon's jet fuel problem' - UK Guardian

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