ground as cosmic rays.
Radiation primarily forms two belts around Earth and
is centered equidistantly from Earth’s magnetic poles
(the magnetic poles are offset from Earth’s rotational
The inner belt consists primarily of energetic protons
emitted by the Sun. These protons carry energies in the
range of 10 to 100 MeV. The inner belt is located between
400 and 4,000 miles above Earth’s surface. This belt was
discovered by the first satellite launched by the United
States, Explorer 1. The second belt is divided into two
parts, an inner radiation belt of 1 MeV particles and an
outer ring current of very low energy particles ( 50 KeV ions
and electrons) (see Figure 3).
After a period of time, exposure to the Van Allen Belts
without protective shielding is fatal. The Apollo astronauts
absorbed approximately 1% of a fatal dose of radiation
when they traveled over the inner belt and briefly through
the outer belt. When a Moon Hoax devotee tells you that
the Apollo astronauts could not have traveled through the
Van Allen Radiation Belts, they’re only displaying their
ignorance. The radiation simply isn’t that dangerous to
astronauts quickly traversing the belts inside a metal
An SE would partially reside within the Van Allen Belts.
If the SE transports people to space, then the climbers
need shielding. Unfortunately, shielding usually means
adding metal plates or tanks of water to the outside of the
climber. The additional weight reduces the amount of
cargo each climber can carry and increases the cost of
Several solutions are possible. First, climbers may be
lightly shielded and make the trip through the worst parts
of the belts very quickly. This doesn’t prevent exposure to
radiation, but it does limit it. Another possibility is that the
climbers can be surrounded with powerful magnets.
Some radiation will then be deflected by the climber’s
powerful magnetic fields. The lower the energy of the radiation, the more effective the magnetic shielding.
Depending on how it’s done, the radiation exposure may
be as acceptable as that received during a transoceanic
Alternatively, the presence of the SE may create a
short circuit to the ultimate ground, Earth. Electrical current is moving electrons, and when given a short circuit
to ground, they make the detour with gusto. Perhaps the
SE can drain radiation out of the Van Allen Belts, thereby making radiation shielding less problematic. Of
course, this will reduce the aurora displays seen on
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