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ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY IN SPACE CRAFT

Artificial gravity
For artificial gravity in fiction, see Artificial gravity (fiction).This article includes a list
of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline
citations.

Artificial gravity is the emulation in outer space or free-fall of the effects of gravity
felt on a planetary surface.[citation needed] It can be achieved by designing for the
use of some different force, such as the centrifugal force that is felt within a rotating
space habitat. Artificial gravity is desirable for long-term space travel or habitation,
for ease of mobility, for in-space fluid management, and to avoid the adverse health
effects of weightlessness.

Requirement for gravity


Without g-force, space adaptation syndrome occurs in some humans and animals.
Many adaptations occur over a few days, but over a long period of time bone
density decreases, and some of this decrease may be permanent. The minimum g-
force required to avoid bone loss is not known—all current experience is with g-
forces of 1g (on the surface of the Earth) or 0g in orbit. There has been insufficient
time spent on the moon to determine whether lunar gravity is sufficient.A similar
effect occurs with people who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound.A limited amount

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of experimentation has been done with chickens experiencing high g-force over
long periods in centrifuges on the Earth.

Methods
Artificial gravity could be created in numerous
ways:
Rotation
Artist's conception of the interior of a Stanford torus with a diameter of 1.8
kilometers (1.1 miles) and that revolves at 1 rpm to produce 1 g.A rotating
spacecraft will produce the feeling of gravity on its inside hull. The rotation drives
any object inside the spacecraft toward the hull, thereby giving the appearance of a
gravitational pull directed outward. Often referred to as a centrifugal force, the
"pull" is actually a manifestation of the objects inside the spacecraft attempting to
travel in a straight line due to inertia. The spacecraft's hull provides the centripetal
force required for the objects to travel in a circle (if they continued in a straight line,
they would leave the spacecraft's confines). Thus, the gravity felt by the objects is
simply the reaction force of the object on the hull reacting to the centripetal force of
the hull on the object, in accordance with Newton's Third Law.From the point of
view of people rotating with the habitat, artificial gravity by rotation behaves in
some ways similarly to normal gravity but has the following effects:

Centrifugal force: Unlike real gravity which pulls towards a center, this
pseudo-force that appears in rotating reference frames gives a rotational 'gravity'
that pushes away from the axis of rotation. Artificial gravity levels vary
proportionately with the distance from the centre of rotation. With a small radius of
rotation, the amount of gravity felt at one's head would be significantly different
from the amount felt at one's feet. This could make movement and changing body
position awkward. In accordance with the physics involved, slower rotations or
larger rotational radii would reduce or eliminate this problem.

The Coriolis effect gives an apparent force that acts on objects that
move. This force tends to curve the motion in the opposite sense to the habitat's
spin. Effects produced by the Coriolis effect act on the inner ear and can cause
dizziness, nausea and disorientation. Experiments have shown that slower rates of
rotation reduce the Coriolis forces and its effects. It is generally believed that at 2
rpm or less no adverse effects from the Coriolis forces will occur, at higher rates
some people can become accustomed to it and some do not, but at rates above 7
rpm few if any can become accustomed.[citation needed] It is not yet known if very

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long exposures to high levels of Coriolis forces can increase the likelihood of
becoming accustomed. The nausea-inducing effects of Coriolis forces can also be
mitigated by restraining movement of the head.

This form of artificial gravity gives additional


system issues:
Kinetic energy: Spinning up parts or all of the habitat requires energy.
This would require a propulsion system and propellant of some kind to spin up (or
spin down) or a motor and counterweight of some kind (possibly in the form of
another living area) to spin in the opposite direction.Extra strength is needed in the
structure to avoid it flying apart due to the rotation. However, the amount of
structure needed over and above that to hold a breathable atmosphere (10 tonnes
force per square metre at 1 atmosphere) is relatively modest for most structures.If
parts of the structure are intentionally not spinning, friction and similar torques will
cause the rates of spin to converge (as well as causing the otherwise-stationary
parts to spin), requiring motors and power to be used to compensate for the losses
due to friction.Angular inertia can complicate spacecraft propulsion and altitude
control particularly when no counterweight is employed.

Where:
 g = Decimal fraction of Earth gravity

 R = Radius from center of rotation in meters

 3.14159

 rpm = revolutions per minute

The size and speeds and period of different radii of space stationThe engineering
challenges of creating a rotating spacecraft are comparatively modest to any other
proposed approach. Theoretical spacecraft designs using artificial gravity have a
great number of variants with intrinsic problems and advantages. To reduce Coriolis
forces to livable levels, a rate of spin of 2 rpm or less would be needed. To produce
1g, the radius of rotation would have to be 224 m (735 ft) or greater, which would
make for a very large spaceship. To reduce mass, the support along the diameter
could consist of nothing but a cable connecting two sections of the spaceship,
possibly a habitat module and a counterweight consisting of every other part of the
spacecraft. It is not yet known if exposure to high gravity for short periods of time is
as beneficial to health as continuous exposure to normal gravity. It is also not
known how effective low levels of gravity would be to countering the adverse
effects on health of weightlessness. Artificial gravity at 0.1g would require a radius

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of only 22 m (74 ft). Likewise, at a radius of 10 m, about 10 rpm would be required


to produce Earth gravity (at the hips; gravity would be 11% higher at the feet), or
14 rpm to produce 2g. If brief exposure to high gravity can negate the health effects
of weightlessness, then a small centrifuge could be used as an exercise area.

The Gemini 11 mission attempted to produce artificial gravity by rotating the


capsule around the Agena Target Vehicle which it was attached to by a 36-meter
tether. They were able to generate a small amount of artificial gravity, about
0.00015 g, by firing their side thrusters to slowly rotate the combined craft like a
slow-motion pair of bolas.[2] The resultant force was too small to be felt by either
astronaut, but objects were observed moving towards the "floor" of the capsule. The
Mars Gravity Biosatellite was a proposed mission meant to study the effect of
artificial gravity on mammals. An artificial gravity field of 0.38g (Mars gravity) was
to be produced by rotation (32 rpm, radius of ca. 30 cm). Fifteen mice would have
orbited Earth (Low Earth orbit) for five weeks and then land alive. However the
program was canceled on June 24, 2009 due to lack of funding and shifting priorities
at NASA.

Linear acceleration
Linear acceleration, even at a low level, can provide sufficient g-force to provide
useful benefits. Any spacecraft could, in theory, continuously accelerate in a
straight line, forcing objects inside the spacecraft in the opposite direction of the
direction of acceleration.Most chemical reaction rockets already accelerate at a
sufficient rate to produce several times Earth's g-force but can only maintain these
accelerations for several minutes because of a limited supply of fuel.

A propulsion system with a very high specific impulse (that is, good efficiency in the
use of reaction mass that must be carried along and used for propulsion on the
journey) could accelerate more slowly producing useful levels of artificial gravity for
long periods of time. A variety of electric propulsion systems provide examples. Two
examples of this long-duration, low-thrust, high-impulse propulsion that have either
been practically used on spacecraft or are planned in for near-term in-space use are
Hall effect thrusters and Variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rockets
(VASIMR). Both provide very high specific impulse but relatively low thrust,
compared to the more typical chemical reaction rockets. They are thus ideally
suited for long-duration firings which would provide limited amounts of, but long-
term, milligee levels of artificial gravity in spacecraft.Low-impulse but long-term
linear acceleration has been proposed for various interplanetary missions. For
example, even heavy (100 tonne) cargo payloads to Mars could be transported to
Mars in 27 months and retain approximately 55 percent of the LEO vehicle mass
upon arrival into a Mars orbit, providing a low-gravity gradient to the spacecraft
during the entire journey.

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Constant linear acceleration could theoretically provide relatively short flight times
around the solar system. If a propulsion technique able to support 1g of
acceleration continuously were available, a spaceship accelerating (and then
decelerating for the second half of the journey) at 1g would reach Mars in 2–5 days,
depending on the starting point in the synodic period.[citation needed] In a number
of science fiction plots, acceleration is used to produce artificial gravity for
interstellar spacecraft, propelled by as yet theoretical or hypothetical means.This
effect of linear acceleration is very well understood,[citation needed] and is
routinely used for 0g cryogenic fluid management for post-launch (subsequent) in-
space firings of upper stage rockets

Mass
Another way artificial gravity may be achieved is by installing an ultra-high density
mass in a spacecraft so that it would generate its own gravitational field and pull
everything inside towards it. Technically this is not artificial gravity—it is natural
gravity, gravity in its original sense. An extremely large amount of mass would be
needed to produce even a tiny amount of noticeable gravity. A large asteroid could
exert several thousandths of a g and, by attaching a propulsion system of some
kind, would qualify as a space ship, though gravity at such a low level might not
have any practical value. In addition, the mass would obviously need to move with
the spacecraft; if the spacecraft is to be accelerated significantly, this would greatly
increase fuel consumption. Because gravitational force is proportional to the square
of the distance from the center of mass, it would be possible to have significant
levels of gravity with much less mass than such an asteroid if this mass could be
made much denser than current materials (see neutronium). In principle, small
charged black holes could be used and held in position with electromagnetic forces.
However, carrying a sufficient quantity of mass to form significant gravity fields in a
spacecraft is well beyond current technology.

Tidal forces
In a planetary orbit, artificial gravity can be obtained from the tidal force by two
spacecraft above each other (or one spacecraft and another mass) connected by a
tether.[citation needed] See also tidal stabilization. Examples of rotating tethered
approaches to the production of artificial gravity, for human and animal research,
are discussed here.

Magnetism
A similar effect to gravity has been created through diamagnetism. It requires
magnets with extremely powerful magnetic fields. Such devices have been made
that were able to levitate at most a small mouse and thus produced a 1 g field to

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cancel the Earth's; yet it required a magnet and system that weighed thousands of
kilograms, was kept superconductive with expensive cryogenics, and required 6
megawatts of power.

Such extremely strong magnetic fields are far above the permitted levels[specify],
and safety for use with humans is at best unclear. In addition, it would involve
avoiding any ferromagnetic or paramagnetic materials near the strong magnetic
field required for diamagnetism to be evident. Some other disadvantages of using
magnetism on a spaceship are found here:

However, facilities using diamagnetism may prove excellent laboratories for


simulating low gravity conditions here on Earth. The mouse was levitated against
Earth's gravity, simulating a condition similar to microgravity. Lower forces may
also be generated to simulate a condition similar to lunar or Martian gravity with
small model organisms.

Gravity generator/gravitomagnetism
In science fiction, artificial gravity (or cancellation of gravity) or "paragravity" is
sometimes present in spacecraft that are neither rotating nor accelerating. At
present, there is no confirmed technique that can simulate gravity other than actual
mass or acceleration. There have been many claims over the years of such a
device. Eugene Podkletnov, a Russian engineer, has claimed since the early 1990s
to have made such a device consisting of a spinning superconductor producing a
powerful gravitomagnetic field, but there has been no verification or even negative
results from third parties. In 2006, a research group funded by ESA claimed to have
created a similar device that demonstrated positive results for the production of
gravitomagnetism, although it produced only 100 millionths of a g.

Current proposals
A number of current proposals for producing artificial gravity are under
consideration.Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV): this 2011 NASA
proposal for a long-duration crewed space transport vehicle includes a rotational
artificial gravity space habitat intended to promote crew-health for a crew of up to
six persons on missions of up to two years duration. The partial-g torus-ring
centrifuge would utilize both standard metal-frame and inflatable spacecraft
structures and would provide 0.11 to 0.69g if built with the 40 feet (12 m) diameter
option.]

ISS Centrifuge Demo: Also proposed in 2011 as a demonstration project preparatory


to the final design of the larger torus centrifuge space habitat for the Multi-Mission
Space Exploration Vehicle. The structure would have an outside diameter of 30 feet
(9.1 m) with a 30 inches (760 mm) ring interior cross-section diameter and would

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provide 0.08 to 0.51g partial gravity. This test and evaluation centrifuge would have
the capability to become a Sleep Module for ISS crew.

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