Life imitates art: moon to be equipped with frickin' lasers?


Up until now, if you wanted to test some theories about the Moon, its distance, or deviations from general relativity, you would have to shoot a laser from Earth to a group of old, dusty and imprecise reflectors from the Apollo era, which sit on the surface the big cheese -- but that might all be changing. NASA announced recently that it's funding development of a moon-based laser system, which would answer the laser bursts from Earth with its own, thus cutting down on fluctuations in readings and allowing for a more accurate study of the Moon's distance. Because there's no better way to spend several million dollars than sending a laser up to the moon to clarify a few millimeters of uncertainty.