April 18, 2007

Captain, I canna hold it together!

I'm still waiting for a transporter to take me to and from work. In the interim, protection for space travelers will have to do. Excerpt:

For Captain Kirk and his crew, the starship Enterprise’s force fields were all that stood in the way of oblivion from Klingon lasers. Now scientists are seeking to build Star Trek-style shields for real, to protect astronauts on their way to Mars.

Though a manned mission to the Red Planet could probably expect to avoid any unpleasant alien encounters, researchers believe that magnetic fields could be crucial to shelter its crew from deadly radiation


Now scientists at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire are proposing a Star Trek solution: to protect the spacecraft with a magnetic field like the Earth’s. A team led by Ruth Bamford, who will present details today at the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Preston, has been awarded a £30,000 grant by the Science and Technology Facilities Council to start developing such a scheme. It will use technology originally developed for experimental nuclear fusion reactors to wrap a model spacecraft in a magnetic cocoon, so that harmful plasma bounces off.

“It’s no accident that Star Trek featured this sort of technology, as it had advisers who work for Nasa and it’s feasible,” Dr Bamford said. “The shields seem to be some sort of invisible barrier, which energy bounces off, and that sort of deflector shield is exactly what we’re talking about.”

Magnetic field generators, she said, could be critical to Nasa’s plans to establish a permanent manned base on the Moon by 2024, and to send astronauts to Mars around 2030.

It's a good start guys, but don't forget my transporter. Or the food replicator. That would be cool. No more ordering takeout.

Scratch everything I just said. Get the holodeck working and we'll call it even.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 07:32 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 "Get the holodeck working and we'll call it even." They owe you?

Posted by: Kent at April 18, 2007 11:26 AM (GSLcH)

2 Yep. They're in cahoots with the guys who should have delivered flying cars by now. The bastards.

Posted by: physics geek at April 18, 2007 12:23 PM (KqeHJ)

3 Cool beans...

Posted by: vw bug at April 19, 2007 02:26 PM (IwPzd)

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