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Rad-Proof Spaceship

The Earth has a magnetic field. The Earth is safe from radiation. Spaceships don't. They are not. Give them some!
 
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As you probably know, Astronauts are exposed to a good deal of radiation, especially if they go somewhere interesting (See: Not Here. ;-)). As you probably also know, the Earth has a nice, strong magnetic field which keeps us mostly safe from radiation. Is there any reason that an electromagnet on a spacecraft wouldn't do the same? I know it would tend to wreak havoc on onboard computers, but that doesn't have to be the case. Nonmagnetic media exists, and it's getting better all the time. If the Anti-Rad magnet works, it might produce a mini-Aurora at the bow of the ship too, it would be beautiful. If this can't work EVER, (I.E. if this would kill everyone onboard or just can't work due to some law of Physics) please tell me why. I am writing what I intend to be an accurate work of Science Fiction, and I'd hate to have impossible things in it.
Madcat, Apr 08 2003

Some useful stuff here http://lowdose.tric...cts/singleterry.htm
[angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

More here http://www.islandon...ents/MagShield.html
"One solution to the problem of shielding crew from particulate radiation in space is to use active electromagnetic shielding." [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

M2P2 http://www.space.co...winglee_010621.html
Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion - and there's even a nice pic [lurch, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       At least semi-Baked, apparently (second linky). "Four technical advances in recent years make magnetic shielding much closer to practicality than the early studies twenty years ago." (From a paper dated 1991.)
angel, Apr 08 2003
  

       If you can make it work, you've got yourself a Nobel Prize and a job for life at NASA.
FloridaManatee, Apr 08 2003
  

       I appreciate your motive, but it’s not a halfbaked idea, it’s a question.
Shz, Apr 08 2003
  

       You don't think a zepplin looking spaceship that moves through space with an iridescent lightning storm in front of it is half-baked?
Madcat, Apr 08 2003
  

       The aurora only happens where the magnetic field channels charged particles into the atmosphere, where they strike gas molecules. Sorry, unless you are packing an atmosphere on the outside of your spaceship, no aurora. Well, I guess you might get some as you plummet into a planetary atmosphere, but I think there's another effect which will overwhelm it...   

       <added later>Ok, I err. It *is* possible - and useful - to create an aurora around your spaceship. (see link)</al>
lurch, Apr 08 2003
  

       I like that Madcat just confabulated the zeppelin thing into this idea. Very Ming. I would like to point out that there might be a shortage of superheroes if astronauts could not be exposed to power-inducing space radiation.   

       The ship would be cool enough. The aurora would be a nifty surprise in chapter 3 when the fly through a gas nebula and light the whole thing up.
bungston, Apr 08 2003
  

       Because this seems to be explored out there but not so much as to be declared 'baked,' I'm bunning it because that tells me that you're thinking in the right direction. Just a few more months before the bakery leapfrogs NASA and invents practical time travel.   

       Trying to envisualize "omnidirectional proton flux," from angel's NASA link. Brain hurting.   

       Kudos to anyone who attempts at writing a book. You *do* realize that without some currently impossible technologies thrown in you're going to end up writing a 'how-to' guide for space travel, don't you?
RayfordSteele, Apr 08 2003
  

       //Trying to envisualize "omnidirectional proton flux//   

       That's easy. It's the same thing that made Doc Brown's time machine go ;)   

       p.s. I wrote a book. It won a small award. Where's my kudos? :)
sambwiches, Apr 08 2003
  

       What do you mean we have enough trouble getting youth's interested in the space program, I have yet to see a 1'st to 5'th grader that was'nt absolutely interested in the space program.
Delta101, Apr 27 2003
  

       Yeah, no kidding. Kids love the space program. See "Everybody Loves the Shuttle".
Madcat, Apr 28 2003
  

       you could possibly even use the magnetic field as propulsion if you could project one pole in front of and one pole behind your ship. this may work to attract radiation at one end and repel it at the other.. slow acceleration but no fuel used. *possibly as a means to keep a rocket in a stable orbit?
tazmase2, Jul 19 2003
  

       Make a geo-style one? Solid iron core/liquid outer core - and rotate. (use free sunlightin orbit - shield satellite). Drop lotsa nuclear goop into center of moon - melt core - start spin - van allen belts for the moon! See advisor for 'the core' movie -thinks a reactor at center of earth!
dinosnider, Oct 02 2003
  

       Personally , I would like to see the effects of a superconductor generated magnetic field on the skin surface of a deep submersible . Deep ocean is a space isn't it ? Spacecrafts travel in space don't they .   

       Just avoid those dumped barrels with the funny symbol .
wjt, Oct 03 2003
  

       You'll stop soalar wind and posibly cosmic rays ( there'r realy just fast stuff, not light ) but you still have X-rays, gamma rays, ... still useful.
my-nep, Oct 17 2003
  
      
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