Monday, November 10, 2008

Shielding Could Allow Long Space Flights

via National Geographic, new research indicates that even small magnets might allow for the devleopment of radiation shielding that would allow long term manned spaceflight to Mars or beyond.

"One of the greatest dangers facing future astronauts is radiation, much of which comes from the sun via solar wind, a stream of particles from the sun's atmosphere.
Solar flares can be as deadly to life on Earth, and prolonged exposure to lower doses can cause cancer. Until recently, however, scientists thought shielding spacecraft would require an impractically large magnet—one capable of generating a field 60 miles (100 kilometers) or more across."

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