In Pictures: Science vs. fiction: 15 sci-fi technologies that are (almost) here

Science fiction has a rich history of predicting the future. And in some cases, the future is now

Deflector shields Another familiar trope in both the Star Trek and Star Wars universes, deflector shields are forever being powered up to ward off pesky Klingons, TIE fighters, what-have-you. NASA has done some research toward using plasma-based force fields to protect spacecraft in orbit from radiation, and more recently, Portuguese scientists have proposed a deflector shield made of plasma contained in a magnetic field. The inspiration for the Portuguese plan? Earth's own magnetic field, which acts as a giant deflector shield, diverting charged particles from the Sun that would otherwise fry the planet. At 3.45 billion years, Earth's built-in deflector shield is the oldest example of sci-fi reality on the list.

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