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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Defense Tech: Death Ray -- or Accounting Shift?



The headline is pretty spooky: "Administration Conducting Research Into Laser Weapon." And the meat of the story, on the Starfire Optical Range's plan to start lighting up satellites, can probably best be described as:
 
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! DEATH RAY!!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!
 
Check it out:
 
The Bush administration is seeking to develop a powerful ground-based laser weapon that would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.
 
The largely secret project, parts of which have been made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress in February, is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive…
 
The laser research… would take advantage of an optical technique that uses sensors, computers and flexible mirrors to counteract the atmospheric turbulence that seems to make stars twinkle.
 
The weapon would essentially reverse that process, shooting focused beams of light upward with great clarity and force.
 
Which is all true – to a point. Gimme a sec to explain...
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