Here’s a cinch of an idea: How about a little Van Allen Belt tightening? By using highly charged orbiting space tethers, the Earth’s cocoon of menacing and deadly radiation belts might be easily and largely aced out. For one, satellites in the future could live longer not having to fend off the frenzy of energetic particles. Moreover, human-carrying spacecraft would be far safer zooming about in Earth orbit or speeding outward to distant destinations. The novel concept is called the High Voltage Orbiting Long Tether (HiVOLT) System – a proposal from Tethers Unlimited, Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington.