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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:46 PM

Proposed 'deflector shield' could protect astronauts from radiation

As if Star Trek didnít already provide enough futuristic inspiration, scientists from the UK are working on an actual deflector shield that could protect astronauts from dangerous levels of radiation. And it would work in a way that's very similar to how we're protected right here on Earth.

Itís well known that a trip through open space will expose astronauts to excessive amounts of radiation. Late last month, a NASA study showed that Martian-bound astronauts would be bombarded with as much cosmic radiation as theyíd get from a full-body CT scan about once a week for a year. Thatís two-thirds of allowable lifetime exposure.

Coming up with a solution has not been easy. Physical radiation shielding would be unreasonably thick and heavy, making it completely impractical. There have even been calls to create a radiation shield made of poop.

But the researchers at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) appear to have stumbled upon a rather elegant solution ó one that takes the Earthís magnetic field into account.

Down here on the surface weíre relatively immune to the Sunís harmful rays owing to the presence of the magnetosphere. So why not recreate the same effect on a spaceship? A kind of mini-magnetosphere?



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Reply Proposed 'deflector shield' could protect astronauts from radiation (Original post)
n2doc Jun 2013 OP
Phlem Jun 2013 #1
Wounded Bear Jun 2013 #2

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:55 PM

1. I love io9

always things we could be doing instead of shooting each other arguing which god is more peaceful.


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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 01:11 PM

2. Good stuff....

and it uses existing technology. Gotta love it.

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