A Force Field for Astronauts?

Researchers are reviving an old but wild idea to protect astronauts from space radiation.

Opposite charges attract. Like charges repel. It’s the first lesson of electromagnetism and, someday, it could save the lives of astronauts.

NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration calls for a return to the Moon as preparation for even longer journeys to Mars and beyond. But there’s a potential showstopper: radiation.

see captionSpace beyond low-Earth orbit is awash with intense radiation from the Sun and from deep galactic sources such as supernovas. Astronauts en route to the Moon and Mars are going to be exposed to this radiation, increasing their risk of getting cancer and other maladies. Finding a good shield is important.”

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