■Class discussion: How does the magnetic field protect life on Earth from excess radiation? What creates Earth’s magnetic field? How could large solar flares threaten astronauts outside the Earth’s protective magnetosphere? Are commercial and military pilots exposed to more radiation than earthbound workers? Are human beings just too fragile for deep space exploration? Should we rely on unmanned vehicles to explore the solar system and beyond? Could we ever build viable space colonies on the moon, Mars or elsewhere?
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