monster machines

Monster Machines: This 'GoreSat' Weather Satellite Will Keep An Eye On Solar Winds

When the solar winds blow strong, it plays havoc with electronics here on Earth. We can protect our sensitive electronic infrastructure — power grids, navigation and communication satellites, and such — but only with sufficient warning. And that’s where the new DSCOVR satellite comes in.

The US Army's Grenade Launchers Are About To Become Twice As Deadly

American forces in Afghanistan have long complained of a significant drawback in their M320 rifle-mounted grenade launchers: enemies positioned behind the low, mud brick walls ubiquitous to the region’s architecture could easily avoid incoming 40mm grenade rounds simply by ducking. You’d need a direct line of sight to enemy forces in order to inflict maximum damage. But not anymore.

Monster Machines: China's New Pain Laser Makes It Feel Like Your Organs Are Boiling

Sure, it looks like somebody strapped a satellite dish to the roof of a box truck and painted it camouflage, but that doesn’t make China’s newest nonlethal weapon any easier to stomach. In fact, take a gut shot from this thing and your stomach will feel worse than a kitten in a microwave. Yet somehow, it won’t kill you. Probably.

The V-22 Osprey Finally Gets Some Proper Talons

Would you want to walk into a gun fight only able to shoot at things behind you? Neither do Osprey pilots. That’s why the DoD is outfitting the V-22 tilt-rotor fleet with some new, forward-firing rockets.

Watch The US Navy's New Laser Cannon Successfully Fry A Drone 

Video: After months at sea patrolling the Persian Gulf region, the USS Ponce and its shiny new laser cannon have successfully confronted and destroyed not only an unmanned aerial vehicle but also an incoming speed boat and other moving targets — all without breaking a sweat.

Monster Machines: This Giant Vacuum Sucks Prairie Dogs Right Out Of Their Holes 

For years, prairie dogs have been the bane of cattle ranchers, whose livestock are routinely injured when stepping in prairie dog holes. In response, ranchers have gassed, poisoned, drowned or buried entire colonies alive. But one enterprising pest control company has devised a more humane method of removing the rodents — with a modified sewer cleaning truck.

Monster Machines: The Spacecraft That Will Finally Give Us A Close-Up View Of Pluto

When the New Horizons spacecraft launched, Pluto was still considered a planet. Now, eight years later, the space probe is finally nearing the end of its 4.7 billion kilometre journey to Pluto — and has just roused itself from deep hibernation ahead of its arrival.

Monster Machines: The US Spent $7 Billion Developing This Helicopter It Never Built

The Kiowa Warrior is slated to retire in 2025, the Chinook in 2035, and both the Apache and Black Hawk will be gone by 2040. We thought we had a suitable replacement for all of these platforms in the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. But then, this next-gen stealth chopper vanished in a puff of bureaucratic smoke.

Monster Machines: This US Chopper Is Heading Home After A Decade Of War

“We fly like nobody else in the Army,” Col. Michael Musiol, commander of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, recently told Stars and Stripes. He’s right. The OH-58 Kiowa family of helicopters has been serving on the front lines — both as an advanced scout and emergency evacuator — for nearly 50 years. But as its tenure in Afghanistan comes to a close, will the Kiowa Warrior finally retire?

Watch The Orion Spacecraft's Test Flight Right Here

NASA’s Orion spacecraft, arguably the most advanced spacecraft ever constructed, is scheduled for liftoff today from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. If successful, we could soon see the craft toting astronauts to the moon, Mars, and beyond. Follow along live.