Does the above image make you want to curl up into ball? If not, you must be unfamiliar with Boston Dynamic's BigDog. It's a robotic mule designed to carry around heavy gear to burdensome for ground soldiers to transport on foot. Obviously there's nothing scary about technology that aids our soldiers, but what is scary (to any robot-fearing conspiracy theorist worth his salt) is how uncanny BigDog's movements are, as evidenced by the video below.

Well now DARPA has awarded Boston Dynamics a contract for a Legged Squad Support System. LS3 will be able to do everything BigDog hypothetically can, it'll just be a lot larger in order to accommodate a need for its 20-mile range and 24-hour battery life. It'll take about 30 months to build the behemoth, which means you have about 30 months to build your anti-LS3 bunker.

In other news, NASA has announced its plans for a newly expanded budget. Despite the extra $6 billion to spend, however, they've put any manned trips to the moon on hold for the foreseeable future. Instead they'll be focusing on robotic machines to the stars and fuel/climate research a little closer to home. That's a bit of a bummer to anyone who was hoping we'd have operational moon bases any time soon.

On a more specific NASA note, they'll be moving ahead with the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The SDO will launch in a few days time, at which point it'll then spend five years orbiting earth with its eye pointed directly at the sun. NASA's hope is to be able to better understand and predict the solar phenomena that can wreak havoc on power supplies and communication systems here on Earth. In other words, someone at NASA finally got around to watching Knowing and got really freaked out.