h a l f b a k e r y
"It would work, if you can find alternatives to each of the steps involved in this process."
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Create skin tight clothing for space dwellers that has a
gradient of magnetic material from not very much at the
to a lot at the top of the torso. Couple this with
electromagnetic floors so that the effect of gravity can be
simulated (magnetic fields drop off much more quickly than
fields, so in order to simulate a gravitic gradient
pulling on your body, you need to have stronger magnets
when they are further away from the electromagnet floor.)
Perhaps these magnets in the clothing could be electro-
magnets too so that they can be adjusted dynamically by
computer as you sit, jump, lie down, etc.
One problem is that this would only apply force to the outer
part of your body -- your innards would still not have any
gravity like forces applied, but maybe this is enough to
your muscles from atrophying and your bones from losing
A second problem is that maybe these magnetic fields
create some health problems? I don't think so, but I'm not
Some reasons this is better than spinning your space station
to get artificial gravity:
1) It takes less energy because you only have to have the
portion of floor that you are standing on energized electro-
magnetically instead of the energy needed to keep the
station spinning properly.
2) It is probably cheaper than engineering the whole station
to withstand the force of spinning it fast enough to create
3) It can be turned off at will so that you could still do cool
4) You could vary your G-force. Maybe you want 2G to get
some excercise, maybe 0.5G if you have a knee injury.
5) I seem to remember that artificial gravity from spinning
won't feel right due to coriolis forces or something like that
if the structure is not big enough.
In fact you could do this on the surface of the earth to get
greater than 1G effect if you wanted to (maybe for super
athletic training or something.)
||It is also less expensive to wear clothing that has gold weights distributed all over (the cost of shipping anything to space makes the cost of gold trivial, and gold is rather significantly denser than lead). You will get a fairamount of exercise just moving your arms and legs, and bending at the waist, while doing normal tasks.
||Wear your Magnetic G-string and you should be all set.
Me thinks, (shameless self-promo.)
||Another problem is that magnetic fields with a
uniform field gradient are very hard to create.
||The third major problem follows: Since your outfit
is going to be such that (while standing), the
magnetic material is going to go up with the
square of distance, if you cut the distance in half
when your rear end goes from a standing to a
sitting position), the magnetic force is going to go
up by a factor of 4. If you're tuned to an
equivalent of 1G standing, you're going to have a
real hard time standing back up.
||This might be solvable with force regulated
electromagnets on the outfit, and ferrous floors
(the reverse of your system), but the weight of
batteries and independent magnets required will
probably suffice to make a much slower spinning
||//magnetic material is going to go up with the
square of distance//
||// It takes less energy // It doesn't take any
energy to keep something spinning in space. If
you have part of the structure spinning and part
stationary there will be some friction at the joint,
but it seems like most serious proposals just spin
the whole spacecraft.
||Of course the only thing we're doing with manned
space flight at the moment is 0 G science
experiments, so having simulated gravity over
most of the craft by spinning would defeat the
purpose. I'd say if you could overcome the other
difficulties pointed out above, this idea could
allow the scientists to have more comfortable
working conditions in a lab where all the
experiments are experiencing 0 G, assuming the
experiments aren't affected by the large magnetic
||// I seem to remember that artificial gravity from
spinning won't feel right due to coriolis forces or
something like that if the structure is not big
||For long-duration missions where [simulated] G is
important, the usual plan is to tether the
spaceship to a counterweight (or to a cargo
module etc), and spin the pair around eachother.
That way, you can have a large effective radius
(half the length of the tether, if the two masses
are equal), and more or less perfect "G".
||" don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure "
||" it is probably cheaper than engineering "