Saturday, December 12, 2009

Force Fields For Spaceship Re-entry Protecion

I have seen recently several articles about using magnetic fields to deflect plasma around a spaceship. The first was about deflecting "cosmic rays", such as protons being part of the stellar wind from the Sun. They all involve the use of super conducting magnets, similar in concept to those used in the Large Hadron Collider - essntially you get a hugely powerful magnetic field, without having to constantly generate fresh electric current.

Here is an article about a proposal do avoid the need for a physical heat shields.

In a very real sense it is a Force Field, though not in the way of Star Trek.

The Next Generation of Heat Shield: Magnetic
The next generation of heat shields to protect astronauts and payloads on their re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere may use superconducting magnets to deflect the plasma that forms in front of spacecraft as they travel at high speeds in the air. The first test of such a heat shield could happen as early as ten years from now, and the basic technology is already in development.

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