Friday, November 07, 2008

Theoretical Force Field Could Make Space Travel Safer.

One of the more daunting challenges to long term space travel and colonization are "cosmic rays" which are extremely dangerous and difficult to block. Now scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the Universities of York, Strathclyde, and IST Lisbon have shown that it is possible to create portable, artificial magnetospheres. These would direct the solar wind away from spacecraft or other threatened area.

Science Daily notes that earlier computer simulations have been confirmed "in the laboratory in the UK using apparatus originally built to work on fusion. By recreating in miniature a tiny piece of the Solar Wind, scientists working in the laboratory were able to confirm that a small "hole" in the Solar Wind is all that would be needed to keep the astronauts safe on their journey to our nearest neighbors."

Now the next challenge is to make, and affordably power, a full scale model and make certain that it isn't itself a danger to astronauts.

<Science Daily via SF Signal>

No comments: