Now That’s Trimming Down:

An Air Force academy physicist is developing a new telescope lens that news reports say would revolutionize the spy satellite business. Instead of the current Hubble-size space telescope—with a four-foot glass lens weighing as much as a truck—the lens Geoff Andersen wants to construct would employ lightweight material like aluminum foil and, at 60-feet-wide, would weight just half a pound. He has built a four-inch experimental model at a cost of $1,000 that works better than lenses at 10 times that cost. He says that his 60-foot version would enable one to read a newspaper from a satellite placed in low Earth orbit.