This Satellite Is Shooting Lasers At Us For A Good Reason

Sep 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM ET

Lasers: is there anything they can’t do? Besides love?

The European Space Agency is in contract to launch a satellite called Aerolus into space at the end of 2017. Once it’s up there, Aerolus will shoot lasers at the earth. While it sounds like the plot of a Bond villain, the lasers will help scientists on the ground understand what the heck is going on with our winds. It will spend three years orbiting earth.

This is the first attempt to study Earth’s wind on a planetary scale.