As technology advances, it’s increasingly obvious that almost any piece of hardware can be used as a weapon, if put in the wrong hands. We can’t exactly ban people from brewing their own beer at home because it’s possible that they could also incubate a bioweapon with the same equipment. But how about re-purposing weapons for peaceful missions? NASA has inherited a couple pretty nice spy telescopes, and there could be plenty of other scientific uses for certain military hardware.
- A Chinese guided rocket named the SY-400 (aka the Heavy Sword) was fired into a typhoon — for science. This shot didn’t deliver an explosive payload, but a scientific one filled with sensors to collect atmospheric data. [url]
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gets the same very bad suggestion a LOT, so it has publicly posted its official answer. The tl;dr version — it is a VERY bad idea to try to stop a hurricane with a nuclear bomb. The slightly longer answer: the amount of energy needed to stop a hurricane is far greater than any weapon at our disposal; plus, the nuclear fallout would be insanely bad for everyone and everything. [url]
- NASA uses Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to study various atmospheric phenomena. Drones can fly day and night to study hurricanes, and NASA operates a variety of aircraft equipped for scientific missions. [url]
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