Star Trek Radiation Shields to Become Reality

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 5, 2008 in Science, Star Trek

Star Trek Radiation Shields

Radiation shields on! One of the real limiting factors with space exploration is human biology itself. A good example of this are cosmic rays which are quite scary when you study them, and so far we’ve come up with some pretty crude protection methods. So it’s great to see some research being done to imitate the protection that we get here on Earth with the magnetosphere:

Magnetic shield for spacefarers

“Future astronauts could benefit from a magnetic “umbrella” that deflects harmful space radiation around their crew capsule, scientists say. The super-fast charged particles that stream away from the Sun pose a significant threat to any long-duration mission, such as to the Moon or Mars.

But the research team says a spaceship equipped with a magnetic field generator could protect its occupants. Lab tests are reported in the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. The approach mimics the protective field that envelops the Earth, known as the magnetosphere.”

By the way it should be noted that deflector shields pre-date Star Trek and have been employed in science fiction stories since the 1920s, although the show did popularize the concept with the general public.

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