Laser (Light Amplified by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) devices have been around for many years. In fact, when I was in high school, a friend of mine who was an absolute whiz with science, had competed his assembly of a ruby-style laser. So, one day we decided to erect it on the floor down the hallway from English teacher’s translucent glass door. When the beam hit the door, it diffused immediately with diverse, harmless red rays emanating throughout the classroom. Suddenly, the door flew open and all the students ran out screaming, followed by the teacher! Knowing that it was bad for anyone to look directly into the beam, we turned it off and quickly returned to our classroom (Physiology class) with the disassembled parts to safely put away in our desks until the class ended and we could remove the parts and place into knapsacks.
Well, those were certainly the ‘good old days’ and we, as youngsters would periodically embark on various treks that today would probably place youngsters in harms way that simply didn’t exist in the 1960’s. An example would be to find in the newspaper the city center water fountain display had been mysteriously soaped. A water-based spray of soapy froth would effortlessly waft down the streets from the fountain. Ah, what fun it was. Now, not only are matters worse, everyone is wrapped so tight it seems few can have innocent fun, including those with REAL fireworks any longer. Sad, this is. Who is to blame? In my humble opinion, no one. Technology and other socio-political reasons exist. However, I refuse to speak further save for the technological aspects and what is affecting all of us, today. As for my friends, some went to MIT, NSA, and the Pentagon to name a few locations.
I would like to start off with a rather anecdotal tone: ‘What weapons created on earth wind up in space.’ We will review this after the following part of the article.
CHINESE LASER WEAPON
Next, let us take a look at the latest Chinese laser weapon development with an AK-47 style laser weapons that can carbonize human tissue from over one-half mile away:
The Chinese laser weapon is known as the ZKZM-500 and it is classified as a ‘non-lethal’ weapon. However, its capability to cause more than skin and tissue burns is a reality. Because it can pass through windows and other clear objects, once it reaches the target it can set clothing on fire. Notwithstanding causing skin carbonizing there is a distinct possibility it can cause the clothing a person is wearing to burst into flames. Of course, in a worst case scenario the causal result of the weapon discharge could result in fatalities.
One of the developers stated that the weapon would create pain beyond endurance. The weapon is an AK-47 style design and weighs about the same, around 6.6 pounds. There are claims it may be used on covert operations. The deployment of such weapons will be utilized by Chinese anti-terrorism military and police. Because this weapon is silent and is invisible to the naked eye, its manufacture will be tightly monitored. In US dollars, each weapon will cost around $15,000 (100,000 yuan) each to produce. More information can be found at the South China Morning Post.
The rifles will be powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones. It can fire more than 1,000 “shots”, each lasting no more than two seconds.
China has reported that they are looking for partners to manufacture the laser weapon. It has just been learned that Elon Musk’s Tesla electric automobile manufacturing will move some assets to China to manufacture in Shanghai. This is pure speculation, but since Tesla touts the most advanced lithium-ion battery technology in the world, will they be approached? Time will tell.
As an aside, it is noted that the Chinese are certainly inventive. Recently, they have developed ‘bird’ drones that are so life-like they can hardly be discerned from real birds in flight. Yet, they can effectively monitor and track human and vehicular movements on the ground. Chinese government officials have been public that the secure monitoring of the manufacture of such technology is extremely important. Were these inventions to get into the wrong hands, misuse could be quite serious a matter.
This brings me to the next part of future implications of where and how deployment of such weaponry could wind up? Yes, they could be utilized in space. Whether mounted on orbital vehicles or being developed to the extent they could be more powerful is a real problem to consider.
Common sense dictates that it is only a matter of time until space is militarized from earth’s leading countries. Many claim this has already occurred. To a limited degree, yes, it has. However, I do not believe it has been developed to the level some claim. I will agree that classified projects have been underway since we started launching rockets and satellites into orbit. We have launched more into space, as well as, to other planets in our solar system. It is only natural (and financially smart) that classified (secret) experiments are placed ‘piggy-back’ with other projects. There have been ‘death-bed’ confessions from those were involved in secret projects reported. I have spoken with a few people over the years that claim we are not only ‘not’ alone, but have had more involvement than the public even has an inkling of knowledge. My point here is simply this. All things develop over time. Technology is growing exponentially. Let us hope we have enough common sense, as well as, technical smarts to get along, develop what we must to share space without any aggression leading to war not only on earth, but in space, as well.
This is another reason (of many) Space Force is being created. The defense of earth can no longer be monitored and controlled from ground-based means. So, in sum, common sense being used in technical innovation is one thing; how we use it is another.
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