Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NASA funding study of 'tractor beams' (attention, Scotty!)

Look, Ma - no hands!
While not the more well-known "beam me up" technology popularized by "Star Trek," NASA is giving a real-world boost to the notion of futuristic "tractor beams" that also were part of the show.

The BBC is reporting that NASA has awarded $100,000 to a group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to study three laser-based approaches to what has been, up until now, sci-fi technology.
"Though a mainstay in science fiction, and Star Trek in particular, laser-based trapping isn't fanciful or beyond current technological know-how," said Dr. Paul Stysley of Goddard.
Unlike towing space ships or other large objects, the study will focus on a much smaller goal - "three possible options to capture and gather up sample material either in future orbiting spacecraft or on planetary rovers."

If you want to know more about laser beams, solenoid beams and Bessel beams, click on the link above.

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