Science Fiction Weapon Comes True
“The Stilleto” is a weapon featured in Clarke’s science fiction novel “Earthlight”. In the 1955 Clarke novel, the weapon is said to emit a beam of light that was able to pierce a spacecraft. The writer afterwards explains that the weapon he mentioned in his novel was actually a stream of liquefied metal that gets shot through space with very high speed and force.
The research and development arm of the Department of Defense (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency or DARPA) is developing a weapon called MAHEM. This is patterned after Clarke’s fictional weapon.
MAHEM stands for Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition. The weapon will be using magnetism to propel either liquid or solid metal. It will be similar to other currently existing weapons since it will use explosions and electromagnetism to power the release of the metal. Weapons that use the same kind of power are called High-Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT). One example of a HEAT weapon is a bazooka.
DARPA is currently developing MAHEM as something that can be attached to a warhead. Once the missile is near the target, it will release MAHEM and be able to stop tanks and other large moving vehicles at close range.
This is not the first time that Clarke has inspired a scientific or technological change. He is also known for the geostationary orbit. The geostationary orbit means that an object in the sky can appear not to move as long as it is aligned with the earth’s equator. This means that the signal from a point on earth will correspond directly with a satellite placed in this orbit. Clarke popularized this in a 1945 with an article in the Wireless Word magazine.
Arthur C. Clarke writes science fiction books and makes inventions. The British national joined forces with renowned director Stanley Kubrick to write the book 2001: A Space Odyssey. The book was later turned into a movie with the same name that was directed by Kubrick.
As the research and development arm of the Department of Defense, the mission of DARPA is to ensure that the United States remains more advanced than other countries in terms of military offense and defense. Originally named Advanced Research Projects Agency, the organization was established in 1958 and its name was changed to DARPA in 1972.
Earthlight was a book released in 1955 of the science fiction genre. Set in the 22nd century, the story revolves around conflicts between the Earth and colonies on the moon along with other people in the solar system.