Shields for the Starship Enterprise

Ruth Bamford, Robert Bingham, Mike Hapgood

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Abstract

A renewed interest in human space exploration demands renewed care for the safety of astronauts venturing far from Earth's protective magnetosphere. Here we assess possible mechanisms for the active shielding of a spacecraft, with consideration of scale, effectiveness and power use. Although nothing yet exists to match the apparent simplicity and effectiveness of the shields shown on Star Trek, the physics of plasmas demonstrates that some useful form of shielding should be possible in the next few decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy and Geophysics
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

Keywords

  • space exploration
  • active shielding
  • physics of plasmas
  • magnetosphere

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