Coming to an interstellar mission near you – Tractor Beams

Get ready for tractor beams pulling enemy alien vessels in deep outer space!  Ok, so maybe not in the immediate future anyway.  NASA has awarded a  $100,000 research grant to the Goddard Space Flight Center team of Laser Experts to study how tractor beams could be used to collect smaller samples in space for analysis.  While not the tractor beams that we have come to love and look forward to in Star Trek, these lasers will be used by rovers and deep space probes to capture particles too small or out of the reach of  robotic arms.  One of the more interesting tractor beam methods is something that the NASA scientists are calling the “tweezer” method in that it uses two lasers going in opposite directions to effectively trap particles and bring them into a waiting probe for analysis.  To quote Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies , “is it too much to ask for frickin’ sharks with frickin’ lasers?”

For more information visit NASA.GOV

Posted in: Miscellaneous, News

1 comment… add one

  • Andy Jacobs November 3, 2011, 9:59 am

    “We’re caught in a tractor beam! It’s pulling us in! … But they’re not going to get me without a fight!”

    Yes, bring it on! Next stop: lightsabers, hyperdrives and planet-destroying superlasers. Ah, technology is grand. ;-)

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