Sunday, August 14, 2011

DARPA's Thing

I like the way they put it: "The U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency on Thursday launched the second of its hypersonic flight tests, and promptly lost contact with it." As if the aircraft might've spent Saturday night on a joyride around the ionosphere while DARPA scientists sit at home worrying about why it isn't returning their calls.

I guess this is how science goes, though -- you have a lot of failed experiments before a successful one. Of course, I don't have any idea whether this is a doomed project like ballistic missile defense or something that could actually work.

The nice thing about DARPA is that money nominally allocated to defense, which could've at worst supported all sorts of pointless brutality, instead goes to useful research. The bad thing is that the money would've been much more usefully channeled if it wasn't being distributed under the defense framework.

1 comment:

CZHA said...

True, but non-DOD research funding is scarce and always in danger of getting cut by balanced-budgeteers. At least we have GPS and the internet to show for our DARPA investments.