Flying Laser Ready to Begin Airborne Weapon Tests

The 747 plus ABL (USAF)

747 airliner? Check. Huge laser? Check. Huge-flying-missile-melting-laser? Nearly.

Actually, I’d want to fly the aircraft remotely, unmanned, and fire the oversized laser pointer at the 747 from a distance. Just to see how long it would take to melt. But that’s just me.

Boeing on the other hand, has succeeded in building a flying laser. Toward the end of 2008, the Airborne Laser (ABL) had been installed inside its Boeing 747 host and it was undergoing static tests. Sure enough, the megawatt laser had proven its worth and fired at a target, twice, in one-second bursts. Details are sketchy as to the damage the ABL caused, but Boeing and other US military contractors heralded the test as a success (if you ask me, the target probably looked like this afterwards).
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Introducing the Multiple Kill Vehicle (a.k.a. The Scariest Thing I’ve Seen All Day)

The MKV in an unnervingly steady hover (MDA)
The MKV in an unnervingly steady hover (MDA)

The ominously named Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) is the next advanced robotic weapon that could be deployed in space to defend against multiple incoming missiles. Designed and built by the US Missile Defence Agency, this little hovering craft will carry multiple anti-missile warheads to see off several threats.

To be honest, I didn’t write this post for the sake of showing off this robotic military tool, I actually think this is an interesting development for small, autonomous spacecraft. Also, when I watched the video of the test flight of the MKV, I had a wave of fear come over me. It may be small, but I sure wouldn’t like to bump into it during a dark orbit
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