Space lasers: Space lasers are all the rage in the tech industry over the last couple of years. China wants to use orbital lasers to destroy space junk, and Facebook wants to use lasers to boost satellite communications. All of those use cases are fairly benign, but France wants to use space lasers for slightly more militaristic purposes moving forward.
French news site Le Point recently reported that the country intends to "reallocate" a whopping €700 million from its full military budget to its "Space Force" in the near future. This money will be used to fund satellite-mounted defense systems, including lasers, submachine guns, and other forms of defensive tech.
Despite the offensive capabilities this weaponry would give France, the country says it has no intention of using it to harm other countries' satellites -- it's for self-defense only. France wants to be able to protect its satellites in the event that a hostile country tries to attack or otherwise sabotage them.
France's Minister of Defence Florence Parly discussed a few of the self-defense measures French satellites could take if interfered with. "If our satellites are threatened, we will consider blinding those of our opponents," she said in a statement. "This may involve the use of power lasers deployed from our satellites or from our patrol nano-satellites."
In addition to the €700 million mentioned above, France expects to spend an additional €4.3 billion on space defense by the year 2025, and by 2030, it wants this proposed defense technology to be fully adopted.
France isn't the only country that is looking at space with renewed interest. The US is increasing its investment in the field, too, and hopes to establish a Space Force of its own in the future.