It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


NASA invests $A96,000 into researching tractor beams.

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 05:16 AM
NASA invested $US100,000 into tractor beam research Studying three experimental methods for tractor beams Would only be powerful enough to move small particles

THEY most famously used them to drag Han and Luke into the Death Star, and now NASA have invested $US100,000 into researching them, according to the NASA website. Principal Investigator Paul Stysley and his team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre have been awarded $US100,000 by the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist to study three different experimental methods for transporting particles via laser light. Tractor beams are devices for trapping and moving objects using laser light, but were previously only feasible in the realms of science-fiction.

"Though a mainstay in science fiction, and Star Trek in particular, laser-based trapping isn't fanciful or beyond current technological know-how," Stysley said in a NASA article. However, for the moment, the team is only aiming for tractor beams powerful enough to move small particles – anything bigger is currently impossible. "The original thought was that we could use tractor beams for cleaning up orbital debris," Stysley continued. "But to pull something that huge would be almost impossible - at least now. That's when it bubbled up that perhaps we could use the same approach for sample collection."

So they've finally started to invest a little cash to see what they can come up with in the way of tractor beam technology. Thoughts/opinions? I can't wait to see what they can develop, and how fast they come up with something a little "stronger" than just being able to move orbital debris.

posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 05:49 AM
reply to post by Violence

That seems like a pittance compared to the US weapons budget.

posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 09:20 AM
reply to post by LightAssassin

Yes, seems as though it is just funding for a paper-study.

posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 03:12 PM
Going by the statements they do not even have something for getting samples, and as the man says grabbing space debris is impossible, never mind anything larger.

posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 03:17 PM
Sounds like Optical tweezers to me.

posted on Nov, 5 2011 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by LightAssassin

Which is a pittance compared to the checks written and sent in the mail to people who use it to support and/or enable addiction and multiple child births.

This is, mostly, a paper and brainstorming study, from the looks of it. It is a preliminary to any kind of prototype projects.

Money doesn't change the status of technology. A billion dollars of funding for tractor beams would not net tractor beams any better than what we can already produce with premarket technologies. Basically, we are limited by our knowledge of physics and our ability to engineer materials capable of producing the phenomena we seek.

Look at the money put into developing laser weapons - and what has come out of it.

Lasers are far more simple than a tractor beam or star-trek replicator (another technology that will likely precede the tractor beam, the way things are going) - and they are still quite expensive and cumbersome to utilize, being very picky and less than ideal (regardless of the application).

First - you have to explore ways of making a tractor beam, what we have that can make the conditions necessary to produce a tractor-beam effect, and what the status is of those solutions (for example - if we need a bunch of lasers, and can produce the frequencies of light necessary... how much power will be necessary to do what we want? or what can we do with what can be made?). From the ideas and possibilities gathered; you develop a plan for several prototypes using different methods or designed for different tasks.

It's much easier to get a grant to develop a tractor beam if you actually have a plan for one... as in - a parts list complete with existing parts or a manufacturing process for creating parts you don't have.

It's like if your kid came up to you and asked you for a thousand dollars to build a model train set (or a ninja warrior set in the back yard) - you wouldn't just hand him the money and say: "knock yourself out." You'd want to know that you aren't just going to have a bunch of random parts bought and stacked around the house at your expense with nothing actually getting done and no plan of what is to be done with any of what was bought.

posted on Nov, 17 2011 @ 07:43 AM
Somehow they even made a video about it. You should include it in your main post ^^ Not sure if it embedded correctly. Mark that they are targeting an asteroid with a number C/2006 P1 what could that be? Oh it did insert correctly.

edit on 17/11/2011 by RumET because: Correct YouTube insertion

new topics

top topics


log in