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'[TECH] Startrek shields up ...'
Alan B. Pearce
I believe this is a public website, so I will post the link. I know they
have talked publicly about the project.
I have just been down to watch this,
The premise of the project is to be able to protect manned space trips to
Mars, and further, from the harmful radiation from the sun.
Quite impressive looking at the actual thing. The pink stream you can see is
hydrogen gas ionized by a supersonic plasma stream, producing a cavity in
the plasma stream due to the action of the magnet in the metal block you can
It is modeling the action of the earths magnetic field on the solar wind
plasma stream that issues from the sun. The little tongue of gas that can be
seen touching down on the top of the magnet is the particle stream that
produces the aurora at the earths poles. The wall thickness of the plasma
'tunnel' produced is about 1mm and about 6" diameter at about 9" downstream
of the magnet.
Quite impressive watching it 'actually happen'.
The home page has a number of diagrams illustrating the principle, and the
movies page has one with the magnet being moved in the stream (but it is
pretty low resolution).
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