Artificial Gravity

Space stations and prospects for colonies on other planets

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Post Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:09 am

Artificial Gravity

We need some Artificial Gravity in space so that humans can stay physical & fit up in space.

Does anybody have any recommendations??

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Post Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:42 am

Re: Artificial Gravity

I thought that was best done by rotation, in order to create a synthetic gravity via centrifical force, no?

Then, there's always the more clunky method of magnetics, and perhaps a lot of velcro.
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Post Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Artificial Gravity

I've been told at least twice by different people that Velcro was originally a spin-off from NASA's space programme. According to Wikipedia this is in fact nonsense - Velcro was invented in 1941. However, the article there says that Velcro took a long time to make an impact, that the space programme gave Velcro its first big break, and that many of its more recent uses by the clothing industry are due to the publicity it received from its use on spacesuits.

(Incidentally, I think I remember seeing it in 2001 - A Space Odessey, during the bit when one of the characters is being transported by shuttle to the space station. The cabin crew had Velcro shoes to hold them to the cabin floor)

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Post Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Artificial Gravity

Velcro may aid in keeping people stuck to the rug, or chair, but objects, like food and drink, are still floating. And there still remains the physiological decrements of prolonged weightlessness.

I’m discovering that centrifugal solutions may not be the easy fix I had always taken them to be. There appears to be inner ear problems, and also drowsiness is common from prolonged spinning, its called: “sopite syndrome.” http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/07feb_stronggravity.htm

The answer may just be to avoid extended periods in a weightless environment by traveling as quickly as possible (‘aqap’?) to a massive enough object of one’s choosing, and staying there. Forget making gravity, make haste instead. :)
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Post Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: Artificial Gravity

Thanks for posting the link to that very interesting article. Like you, I had no idea that it was such a problem using centrifuges for artificial gravity.

The article seemed to say that part of the difficulty was that because this test centrifuge is quite small, the gravitational fields produced vary strongly with the distance from the centre of rotation. Therefore if you are in it, your feet might feel a gravitational pull of 1G even while your head was only experiencing 0.2G ! So do I gather that having a little centrifuge on board a spaceship to produce gravity on a journey isn't great, but that for an enormous great rotating spacestation (again as in 2001: A Space Odyssey) the "gravity" produced is no problem because of the much bigger radius?

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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:16 pm

Re: Artificial Gravity

Well, that is The question, isn't it. If it must be much larger, then how much larger must it be in order to completely escape these head spinning difficulties. To simply 'reduce' the ill effects of prolonged centrifugal gravity only begs the necessity of a longitudinal study; which sounds expensive, given the need to construct enormous space labs, and to maintain them and their population for extended periods. (gunea pig applications invited)

What does seem to be indicated is that space ships and satellites employing centrifugal gravity, and intended for prolonged occupancy, must always be large. This is disappointing news. I had long thought that Sci Fi had this gravity issue solved. :(
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:40 pm

Re: Artificial Gravity

I suppose one solution for smaller spaceships is just to keep accelerating all the time!

Get into your spacecraft and head for Mars. Keep your foot on the pedal to accelerate at a constant rate of 9.81 meters per second per second, until you are halfway there, then turn your spacecraft around 180 degrees and keep your foot on the pedal for the rest of the journey, to slow back down again at the same rate. That way throughout your entire trip to Mars you and your companions will be pressed towards the ship's floor by a constant earthlike gravity.

Bit of a pricey option in terms of fuel, of course. ;)

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Post Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:25 am

Re: Artificial Gravity

"Pricey" using today's propulsion systems, but your 'acceleration-deceleration' does seem worth pursuing IMO.

There does appear to be some work being done by the ESA on creating gravitational fields:
http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=579

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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:28 am

Re: Artificial Gravity

on the disscovery channel i thought i heard nasa created a new injen that dosent use fossile fuel but can get past pluto in 8 years. not shear what it was i watched it over a year ago. not for atmispheric use.

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Post Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:28 pm

Re: Artificial Gravity

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