Space shield to block radiation

British scientists are planning to see whether a Star Trek-style deflector shield could be built to protect astronauts from radiation. They argue that magnetic shields could be deployed around spacecraft and on the surfaces of planets to deflect harmful energetic particles.

To create the deflector shield around a spacecraft or on the surface of a planet or moon, scientists need to generate a magnetic field and then fill it with ionised gas called plasma. The plasma would held in place by a stable magnetic field (without the magnetic field, the plasma would simply drift away).

This shield could be deployed around a spacecraft or around astronauts on the surface of a planetary body such as the Moon.

Source: 14 May 2007