July 30, 2010

Radiation Shielding

Imagine being to shield with relatively small electromagnets a spacecraft's inhabitants from the powerful solar wind radiation beyond Earth's magnetosphere. And imagine finding areas on the Moon and Mars which have natural radiation shielding.

Solving radiation hazards would open up the entire solar system to safe human travel.

Take a read and see how science has again taken the "fiction" out of science fiction:

In brief:
  • Scientists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in the UK have demonstrated how small magnets can deflect charged particles similar to the solar wind. This puts into practical reach the ability to shield astronauts on the long voyages to Mars, asteroids and the outer planets.
  • Regions on both the Moon and Mars have been found with small naturally-occurring magnetospheres, allowing for inhabitation with less or perhaps even no radiation shielding.
Video showing areas on Mars with natural shielding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9AIMeunxvg
Discovery of area on the Moon with some shielding: http://news.discovery.com/space/moon-magnetic-field.html

One less issue Congress need worry about, let's go!

Watch RAL's 29 second video for an excellent animation and demonstration.

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