People often say that space is the final frontier. While our future may lie among the stars that shine from above, humanity will forever will be pondering the distant celestial lights if our species can not find a way to deal with the deadly radiation that drifts throughout our star system.
Fortunately it looks as if scientists from the United Kingdom may be on the edge of creating artificial magnetic bubbles after announcing their plans of developing this technology last year.
(Telegraph) The idea of a “mini-magnetosphere” has been around since the 1960s but it was thought impractical because it was believed that only a very large – more than 100km wide – magnetic bubble could possibly work. This would involve enormous amounts of energy and massive machinery.
But the British team, which published its results in the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, has come up with a system that would be about the size of a playground roundabout and use the same energy as a kettle.
They envisage two “mini-magnetospheres” being housed in two outrider satellites in front of the space craft that when a storm approaches would switch on the shield and deflect the deadly rays.
While this would tremendously benefit future astronauts traveling throughout our star system, it would also enable us to safely establish large outposts on the Moon, Mars and Ganymede (as Callisto, Titan, Earth and a few Saturan moons are the only radiation safe worlds within our star system).
It may also enable us to bring along all of our animal and insect friends (like bees), instead of having to rely upon creatures who may not need Earth’s magnetic influence in order to carry out critical functions (one example being ants).
Note: Since creating these mini magnetic fields will probably require a lot of energy, we will probably have to use a miniature nuclear reactor to provide enough power to keep the radiation out (and the life support on).