05/09/2008 at 4:15 pm

that's nothing new. The camera may be new, but the germans had a projectile-direction shanging apparatus for their Mp44 assault rifles at the end of world war 2. It was al\valiable from 30 to 90 degrees.

05/11/2008 at 4:24 am

When it comes to Stargate, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You're dead wrong on just about everything you wrote.

05/12/2008 at 9:47 pm

Unbelievable the fine line between reality and imagination. Some of the ideas and implementations presented in the 20 weapons are of such a disturbing nature that they truly are creatively unique, even in a very morbid sense. I've seen other spooky weapons that Popsci has put in their publishings that are truly disturbing in nature also: autonomous/remote robot weaponry, sonic 'mental disturbance' weapons, and even electromagnetic pulse ordinance. Although I have to say the most disturbing of the 'spookiest weapons' I know of I learned thru 'Future Weapons', a show on the Military Channel, that featured a 'cannon-like' weapon that would fire bullets/grenades at the rate of 1,000,000/250,000 rounds/MINUTE. The 'Metal Storm' listed as one of 'The World's Spookiest Weapons' actually uses this same (or relative) ignition technology. How would you stop that rate of fire and destructive energy? I have to say I appreciate and respect the efforts of Popular Science to bring these new ideas and technologies to the forefront, thanks :)

Michael D Lewis
Science Manager - RD
g_K Technologies

05/14/2008 at 11:46 am

Millimeter waves are longer than Microwaves.

Also the chemical weapons laser in ABL is very different than the solid state laser pointer at the drugstore. The dream for the military is to be able to have a solid state laser than can have the power of a chemical wespons laser but that is years away. With the chemical you only have a few shots, with the solid state you have as many shots as long as you have electricity.

05/18/2008 at 3:22 pm

Firstly, the idea that the 'Rods from God' are equivalent to nuclear weapons is risible. Even at the quoted 36,000 feet per second (approx 11 km/s), the kinetic energy of a 100 kg projectile is about 6 GJ, which is on the order of 1.5 tons of TNT equivalent. That's a big bang, to be sure, but certainly not on the scale of even the smallest yield nukes (here, we're talking about yields in the hundreds of tons of TNT equivalent). There's also a big problem in that it takes a significant amount of energy to de-orbit one of these things. You can't just 'drop' it. The orbital angular momentum of the projectile has to be overcome otherwise it's not going anywhere. It also takes a seriously long time (hours) to get back from GEO, which is presumably where these things will be parked. They're not exactly an on-demand weapon like guided MLRS.

Secondly, in what sense is the Pentagon's anti-missile program 'woefully unsuccessful'? THAAD works so well that its deployment date has been pushed forward three years from 2012 to 2009. The Navy's RIM-161 SM3 took out a de-orbiting satellite. Methinks a little bit of political bias crept into the editorial process here.

05/19/2008 at 8:15 am

Daggilli makes some very good points about this article. First thing I wondered about was the firey effect reentry would have on the rod/weapon. Either it has sheilding of some kind to keep it from burning up in the atmosphere during reentry or someone forgot to mention it. Also what ever happened to terminal velocity? How can a free falling object, such as the one mentioned in the article, excellerate beyond its terminal velocity without another source of energy/power other than gravity? I find the speed mentioned rather difficult to believe without another energy source besides gravity alone to achieve that velocity. Maybe the "remote viewers" from the supposedly now defunct Stargate program are going to concentrate on the rods (no not Jose Escamilla's RODS) and speed them up with their RV power?

05/19/2008 at 6:42 pm

I've seen most of those things before, but the stargate one, it seems like if its not made of metal and wires PopSci doesn't want to believe it'll work.

05/30/2008 at 6:33 pm

There is a Podcast called Useless Information, and the commentator does a show on the whole bat bomb thing. Supposedly bats will hibernate at a certain temperature and the whole concept was to get there temperature down low enough to send them into hibernation, and once there, strap the bombs on them fly them over the target and dump them out of a plane. As the fall to the earth, they warm up, wake up and and fly down into the city and or town. Come daylight they would all be seeking shelter in cool dark places, out of view, and that's when they would trigger the explosives. I guess the whole concept was not to cause a huge blast all at once, but to start so may fires that it would eventually burn a whole city to the ground. The podcast claims that they actually got as far as the test faze, but thats where it all unravelled. Supposedly the took hibernating bats (with bombs attached to them) to a base that, at the time had just been built in the mojave desert. They go on to say that the cooling unit they where using to keep the bats temperatures down was shut off premature and as they were loading them into the plane to take them into the air, the bats got free and flew into and all over the new base. They tried to get them but there where to many and eventually there bomb timers went off, setting fire to the whole base and burning it to the ground. I know this all seems far fetched, but I guess the government actually declassified the documentation on this and that is why we are just hearing about this now. Again the podcast is called Useless Information if you wnat to check it out.

05/30/2008 at 6:50 pm

You bash the stargate article like you have some inside track, but then you don't back up your claims that the article is wrong. Why don't you enlighten everyone with the truth. That is, if you really know something.

06/02/2008 at 4:48 am

Very good article.
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06/05/2009 at 12:12 am

To answer BADHTML's question about terminal velocity a satellite in a geostationary orbit travels at a speed of 1.91 mi/s or 6876 mph which is a little more that nine time the speed of sound. Additionally the satellite is orbiting at a of height around 22,236 miles above the surface. So by time the projectile has fallen to the outer reaches of the atmosphere it would be traveling at a much greater speed than its terminal velocity. Also the 36,000 fps is equivalent to about 24,545 mph or more that 32 times the speed of sound. If you took the impact velocity it would travel from the extreme outer reaches of the atmosphere at a elevation of 75 mi to the surface in about 10 seconds. There would not be enough time for it to decelerate to its terminal velocity before impact.

And to daggilli I fell that your estimate of a 100kg projectile is extremely light for the size that is given. It would likely be made out of a heavy metal like tungsten and if it was made out of solid tungsten it would weigh in at around 11,351 lbs or 5149 kg.

07/24/2009 at 5:22 pm

If that's a rail gun, then where did all the flames come from? Since when do electromagnets make fire?

10/18/2009 at 5:07 am

ruyk, your math is pretty close, and those are the ballpark numbers they are looking at. my only question about them is, don't we have a non-proliferation of space treaty? we made it up, and now we are gonna put weapons in space? as the rich and powerful leave our world in the next 25 yrs, these will control the slave workers of Earth. nice creepy weapon, if illegal. if China wanted to put this thing up, would we let them, or kick the ball on WW3?

12/22/2012 at 1:48 am

Whether you side with those who say its use in WWII prevented an invasion of Japan and casualties on a much larger scale, or those who denounce its use as a war crime, it is arguably the only weapon whose effects have so vividly solidified in the popular consciousness after such little use (twice).www.thaicartrick.com

07/03/2013 at 7:38 pm

If you have any questions about what you have seen, Google it, research it, THEN post about it.Its so tiring reading comments from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, and even worse causing others to believe the idiotic posts, which just starts a whole chain of ignorance.So...please...Keep your ignorance out of popular science.Thank you.

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