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

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

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