Dropping those pallets of water and food out of planes isn't as easy as it looks. But through the wisdom of crowds (and one smart Dutchman), now we can get aid to people after disasters quite a bit easier.
When fighter jets become outdated, they aren't necessarily sent to the scrap heap. A lucrative Pentagon program offers military contracts millions of dollars to turn old F-16s into unmanned drones designed to be blown up in midair.
The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council is requiring that all new purchases by government agencies be energy efficient, water efficient, bio-based, environmentally preferable or non-ozone depleting and that all federal contractors to support the government’s goals in environmental management.
Sometimes, basic science funded by the military is a bit out there. Researchers are subjecting fruit flies to "virtual reality tunnels," which the Air Force thinks might help inspire insect-sized military vehicles.
President Barack Obama won an important victory late yesterday afternoon when the Senate voted to halt production of the Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighter jet (seen below). Nearly two billion dollars had been earmarked for the production of seven more of the jets, the development of which has already cost taxpayers $65 billion — a bill bloated even by Department of Defense standards.
The army has slowly taken advantage of advances in renewable energy with algae-derived jet fuel, trash-powered electricity generators, and now solar-powered aerial drones. The Air Force has spent $450,000 on a project researching the viability of dye-sensitized solar cells as a power source for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).