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It is well known that micro meteorites, space junk, and other small objects can put a dent (Or rip through) in a spacecraft quite effectively. How can I protect people, sensitive electronics, and other items from impacts from these items?

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Whipple shields are used for this very thing. The basic idea is that when the object strikes the first layer, it breaks apart, and the resulting pieces have a low enough energy to be stopped by the other layer(s). They have the added benefit of being much lighter than, say, a single thick slab of aluminum or titanium.

This site has some good photos of ground-tested Whipple shields and their variations.

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