Switch To Front Deflector Shields!!

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Red Devil, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

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    Deflector shields made of ionized gas are under development by British scientists. These Star Trek-style shields could be turned off or on depending on solar activity or other requirements.

    Astronauts who spend time in low earth orbit are mostly protected from radiation by the magnetosphere, Earth's powerful magnetic field. However, travelers to other planets will run the risk of exposure to cancer-causing radiation from the sun and other sources outside the solar system.

    According to Dr. Ruth Bamford, of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, UK: "You don't need much of a magnetic field to hold off the solar wind. You could produce the shield 20-30 kilometers away from the spacecraft."

    She presented the idea today at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, England. Researchers intend to create the "deflector shield" by generating a magnetic field and then filling the space around the craft with ionized gas. The magnetic field would hold the plasma in place. The same technique could be used to protect an installation on the Moon (which has no magnetosphere like the Earth's).

    Once deployed, energetic particles encountering the plasma would be slowed down, sparing the occupants of the space craft or Moon installation. The Rutherford Appleton research team plans to build an artificial magnetosphere in the lab, and then eventually create a test satellite to see how the idea works in space.

    www.space.com
     
  2. Gently Passing Registered Senior Member

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    My question is, why is space travel necessary? Okay, satellites are a part of our everyday lives, but there is nothing on the moon besides some rich deposits of minerals which would probably be much cheaper to simply mine on Earth...

    And who wants to go live on a grey, lifeless dustball?
     
  3. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    Golfers. Let's send the golfers.
     
  4. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

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    And the synchronised swimmers!!
     
  5. Jeremyhfht Registered Senior Member

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    the only possible complication I might see with it, is how the magnetic field effects the people inside it. Although this is an uneducated assertion.

    an example might be how powerful magnets effect me (if I hold them even for a minute, I feel very...sickish. Hands especially). These types of magnets are available as toys, as well.
     
  6. pjdude1219 troaty mouth best song ever Valued Senior Member

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    right on
     
  7. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

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    OK can anybody tell me what Sci Fi film the thread title comes from.

    Hint: the speaker says it twice and its a well known film.
     
  8. Jeremyhfht Registered Senior Member

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    It's easy to guess that it's from Star Trek. But what movie? God only knows.
     
  9. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    This is a pretty nifty idea, sure would save weight on shielding, but then again, how powerful a magnetic field are we talking? Something we can easily make today with a lightweight setup, or are we talking super-conductor uber-magnets that require nitrogen cooling and all that jazz. If that were the case, I'd be for the heavy shielding, at least that can't just "turn off" like an electromagnetic ion cloud system could.

    Murphy's law sucks, period!
     
  10. Kittamaru That which cannot be known Moderator

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    ElectroMagnetic shields are simple in concept, difficult in practice. Just like Warp drive :)

    To be serious though- Earth is Dying. Not so much Dying as it is Rejecting us. The circle of life is nearly come full around and soon we will be obliterated either by our own stupidity (nuclear war) or by the greatest natural disaster of all times (ala The Core)

    I for one plan to be FAR off this rock when that happens.
     
  11. Jeremyhfht Registered Senior Member

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    you apparently believe you'll live long enough to be far off this rock to begin with.
     
  12. Kittamaru That which cannot be known Moderator

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    I do believe that. It's not hard- terraforming is already highly possible, just expensive. You build your ship and launch it from a space station, thus avoiding using 80% of your fuel just getting off the planet.
     
  13. Liege-Killer Not as violent as it sounds Registered Senior Member

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    I may be way off on this number (and I'm too lazy to look it up right now), but there are something like 15,000 asteroids orbiting our Sun. These sometimes have their orbits warped by the gravity of the large outer planets and go careening into the area of the inner planets. It's only a matter of time before a big enough one hits Earth and erases us. It's happened before and it'll happen again. (There will be a very near miss somewhere around 2030, if I recall correctly.) At that point, it would be a good thing for our species to have found a few back-up homes, don't you think?
     
  14. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    ummm *raises hand*
     
  15. Singularity Banned Banned

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    I think cosmic radiation is more problem that solar radiation. so no use.
     
  16. Red Devil Born Again Athiest Registered Senior Member

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    One thing is fact - that mankind will not "live long and prosper" on this grain of sand. To ensure that we need to expand - outwards. To do this we need either huge colony ships and start sending them out in differing directions in the next couple of hundred years, discover/find/create wormholes or find a way to "fold" space.
     
  17. dexter ROOT Registered Senior Member

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    Terraforming is possible, but at what cost? How much more would we learn about mars if we got to study it without contamination from microbes and such? I think our biggest threat is godzilla.
     
  18. Saquist Banned Banned

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    It's true but such a space craft would have to generate this field at all times and without a plentiful powersupply sustaining the field throughout the entire journey would be impossible.

    perhaps the new generation of solar cells will be the answer once the one million dollar price tag shrugs off.
     

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