Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Mission: De-Mining

Removing land mines has always been tough. Now it’s rocket science. Engineers at Thiokol Propulsion, in cooperation with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, have developed a flare that uses surplus rocket fuel to disable mines safely. The flare is placed next to an uncovered mine and detonated from a distance. The flare burns through the mine’s casing and consumes the explosives within it, disabling it or minimizing the force of its detonation. The flare is much less hazardous than current techniques, such as deactivating the mine by hand or deliberately detonating it. Each flare uses about 100 grams of surplus propellant intended for the space shuttle’s solid rocket boosters that could otherwise not be reused. An initial batch of 700 flares was made late last year, according to Thiokol program manager Carol Campbell; those flares are being tested in Kosovo and Jordan.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.