Superconducting Magnetic Bubble May Protect Astronauts From Radiation

Former astronaut Jeffery Hoffman is proposing a hybrid system to protect future astronauts; on long voyages through the solar system they will be exposed to lethal doses of radiation from cosmic rays. He has recieved funding from NASA through NIAC (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts) to research the idea of a superconducting magnetic radiation shielding system to supplement (or replace) traditional passive shielding. The idea of using a magnetic field to shield a craft from radiation is not new; as Dr. Hoffman points out “the Earth has been doing it for billions of years!” Using magnetic shielding was proposed in the late 1960’s, but not pursued after plans for further space exporation were scrapped.