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Man, that thing is bullet proof material.
 

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looks cool, but why is a public university funding this instead of a private company? Tax payer money and student tuition at work
 

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If you read the article, most of the funding is from the US Army. Then there is the $20 million collaboration with Oak Ridge lab. I think the taxpayers are going to be ok with this one.
 

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looks cool, but why is a public university funding this instead of a private company? Tax payer money and student tuition at work
If you only knew how much of your tax dollars went to this sort of stuff.

Sure, maybe the Army and other entities are funding, but that is still a lot of tax payer money.

It is the way a lot of progress is made in technology. All so often, man's quest to find newer, better ways to kill, maim and destroy result in spin off ideas that do help society.

The space program in the 60s is a prime example. Kennedy's "put a man on the moon before the end of a decade" speech was really a shot across the bow in the Cold Ward. Much of the technology developed for that program was really just a cover for missile defense projects. Few people realize the scope of that program. If we ever decided to make that sort of effort toward any of the world's current problems, it would be solved. Pretty much any university that had an engineering program was working on the space program. In 1981, I was looking for a component for my senior design project at LSU in Baton Rouge and a lab tech dove into a closet and found just the component I wanted. The quality of the part was so much better than I hoped for that I tracked down, without the help of Google, the manufacturer of the component and called them. The guy I spoke to asked me how I got my hands on a component from a Saturn V rocket.

Would we have microwaves, cell phones, etc. but for the space program of the 60s?
 
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