Posted: 7:58 a.m. Friday, June 28, 2013
By Rick Couri
Captain Kirk, Spock, and Scotty would be proud.
The shield is really more of a manmade atmosphere called a magnetosphere. It would mimic earth’s magnetic field and keep out deadly radiation instead of photon torpedoes.
Scientists explained “the concept behind what we're suggesting is due to the evolution in our understanding of plasmas. What we discovered is that if you put a magnetic field around an object in a flowing plasma, the electrons, which are very light, will follow the new magnetic field that you've put there but the ions, the very fast ions, will overshoot, they won't follow the magnetic field lines. You end up with a constant electric field that can be enough that it actually refracts or deflects enough of the radiation from inside the magnetic cavity that you've formed to protect the astronauts enough like the Earth that they can survive."
The team working on the shield hopes to have a working model ready to fly in five years.