Museum of Science and Industry


Like modern day Ahabs, the folks over at NASA have taken to designing a harpoon capable of tackling the great white beasts of space: comets! These notoriously chaotic celestial bodies tumble quickly and move at up to 150,000 mph while spewing forth a cloud of debris. Given the volatile character of these objects, it is dangerous to approach one too closely. Thus NASA is currently investigating shooting harpoons with retrievable collection devices into comet surfaces.

To test various possible harpoon designs, NASA scientists have created a six-foot-long ballista (large crossbow) capable of generating precise levels of force. Once the optimal shape and speed of these scientific grapplers is determined, next comes developing the cannon that would deliver them to their icy prey.

Image: NASA

  •  
  • Readers' Comments (0)
  •  

Sorry, comments are not allowed for this post.


Museum Hours
  • Extended hours through Sept. 1:
    Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Information

Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
Getting Here

Buy Tickets Online

Happening Now


Full Calendar

Coming Soon

What's Coming Soon

contact us


Write the team behind the blog with your questions or comments.

Email Us

Get our e-Newsletter!
Subscribe to the e-Newsletter
connect with msi!