"We now believe we can get it down to a package that we can put on as part of a payload to be placed on orbit."
You know the scene in "Akira" where Tetsuo rips a satellite space weapon out of orbit?
Now the U.S. military wants to try something similar, according to Defense One. The Pentagon is requesting hundreds of millions of dollars to ramp up space-based weaponry including particle beams and space lasers that'll fire downward at Earthly targets — a dark vision of the militarization of space.
According to Defense One, a Missile Defense Agency document released this week describes the military's ambitions to disable ballistic missiles right as they launch.
"The addition of the neutral particle Beam effort will design, develop, and conduct a feasibility demonstration for a space-based Directed Energy Intercept layer," it reads. "This future system will offer new kill options for the [Ballistic Missile Defense System] and adds another layer of protection for the homeland."
Several contractors have prepared prototype orbital weaponry designs for the Pentagon over the years, according to Defense One, but they've been enormous and impractical. But now officials hope advances could make such a weapon feasible for a test by 2023.
"We’ve come a long way in terms of the technology we use today to where a full, all-up system wouldn’t be the size of three of these conference rooms, right?" said a senior defense official, according to Defense One. "We now believe we can get it down to a package that we can put on as part of a payload to be placed on orbit."
READ MORE: Pentagon Wants to Test A Space-Based Weapon in 2023 [Defense One]
More on space lasers: Russia Wants to Vaporize Space Junk With a Laser. There Is No Way This Will Go Wrong.