I have a spacecraft traveling from one planet to another, say from Earth to Venus. The journey will take at the least several weeks. During this time, the sun will emit a number of solar flares that can cause detrimental damage to a spacecraft's electrical equipment (as well as giving astronauts ionising radition - increasing the chance of cancer and radiation burns.)

How would I ensure that solar flares and other matter from the sun does not damage or otherwise affect the spacecraft and its crew?


2 Answers 2


A water wall of suitable thickness would be effective on a double front: on one side it will absorb dangerous radiations from the space environment, on the other side, since your crew will need water anyway to survive, it will allow you to save on the mass of additional shielding.


Dutch's idea is fine. Plus you could use the water as reaction mass. Yes, yes, water is fine. Unless what you need is high tech hijinks!! If that is the case let me offer the

Induction shield.

The ship is armored with multiple tiny coils like piano wire, the long axis parallel to the ship. On traversing these coils, an incoming charged particle (aka cosmic ray) will induce a current because of its charge. This current will trip a capacitor discharge, powering up select coils in a second bank interior to the first. The magnetic field produced by the current in these interior coils will deflect the incoming charged particle away from the ships delicate innards.

Most of the solar flare danger is from these particles, as I understand it. But short wavelength electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays, xrays) is bad too. It is hard to reflect or deflect these rays; you need to absorb them. To accomplish this, the aforementioned coils are made of gold.


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