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1G Space Station

Waste not, want not.
  [vote for,

Why not strap all the old ISS modules together, and instead of making a light show and adding to the S. Pacific grave site,and use them as counterweights for a centrifugal, one-armed, 1G station. I don't know what is holding up the 1G station. All the medical stuff is terrible for astronauts; if we ever want to really live and work there we'll have to lick the bone density, metabolic changes, and brain effects of ZeroG. If the delay is due to the tonnage necessary to counterbalance a module, let's use the bricked modules as dead weight, build a truss, and put a balloon module on the other, 1G end. What am I missing?
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022


       Let's build a station capable of taking the strain.
Voice, Apr 06 2022

       A1, mass is mass. If there's some flaw in the concept please be more specific. (As yet there is no structural engineering so there's an opening for you.) I checked out stackexchange and it was interesting but no one was addressing the use of the junk modules, or a single long arm, with a living/working module at 1G at the other end. Jack be nimble sez a 1k arm at 1rpm will generate .95G. Do we need a full 1G for a healthy environment? Are you saying this is impossible? or just unfinished?
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022

       He's saying it's impossible because the space station isn't designed to hold together under that strain. You can't pull it with 1g force and expect it the components to stay together. In other words if you were to magically transport the space station as is back to earth and hold up one end by a cable on a very large crane modules would start falling off, especially those modules at 90 degrees angle to the part you're holding.   

       I think if you strung it out into one long line it's possible, but I'm not sure how the heat and solar systems could be so strung out, or how anything could dock.   

       Also if it did hold together you would have a huge number of problems from individual components not designed for the strain. Wiring pulling apart, seals failing, gas lines breaking, and so forth.
Voice, Apr 06 2022

       I got that; you can't use the ISS as is. But if you bundled and bolted the dead modules as close together as possible, the truss arm could connect at the center of its mass, avoiding tidal effects on a single-line counterweight. Don't worry about wiring, plumbing, seals, etc; the bricked modules are just dead weight or storage. If you had enough counterweight close to the CG on the truss you would make docking with it a lot easier than matching speed/rotation to the 1G working module. Then you travel a short way along ("up") the truss through the zero G CG point and "down" to the work module.
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022

       I'm going to bun this for starting an interesting discussion. Are we allowed to do that?   

       Has thought been given to some amount of time in a small centrifuge each day to cope with problems of long term weightlessness? I know the big problem with that is the inner ear goes nuts, but wonder if it's worth exploring. Is there some kind of formula of rather than living in 1g for 24 hours you live in 4g while you sleep or something?   

       I know people use those heavy blankets to have a calmer sleep experience, the added G forces might even make you sleep better no? Once the inner ear thing is worked out if that's possible. Some kind of device you wear that counteracts those little hairs in I think it's called the cochlea that move according to the forces acted on them? Hire some guys in lab coats and order some science maybe? Thirty, forty million dollars worth of science might solve the problem.
doctorremulac3, Apr 06 2022

       [Voice] Don't the stresses on the "junk" modules bolted close together to form the counterweight get much weaker the closer it is to the CG? There are no "bits bolted onto the ISS." Forget the ISS; it's a boat anchor. It only has to be strong enough to hold together as the less-stressed end of a strong single truss whose other end is the working end. I'm hearing that it's impossible to build a truss strong enough to withstand a 1G pull on the long end, be it 300 feet or 600 meters. Really?
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022

       Tsiolkovsky be damned. What about Niven?
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022

       //Don't the stresses on the "junk" modules bolted close together to form the counterweight get much weaker the closer it is to the CG? There are no "bits bolted onto the ISS.//   

       The bad part of your idea is not assembling the junk into a counterweight. It's not the connection of the station to a counterweight. It's not the spinning up. The problem is the whole station would fall apart unless a gantry were built around the whole station. Even if you did that individual parts inside the station are not built to the strain. You've got computer racks weighing hundreds of kilograms which do not have sufficient support structures. Huge tanks of water. Experiments in just about everything.   

       Imagine a 500 kilogram water tank sitting near a rack of computers. Imagine they are held in position with some spindly titanium ribs designed to withstand 200 kilograms of force. Imagine these two separate parts are bolted together with steel bolts designed to withstand 200 kilograms of force in any direction. Just for funsies add a 5 cm styrofoam wall and a heavy layer of aluminum foil separating these two things from a pipe full of rocket fuel and another pipe full of oxygen. Now put this assembly under 1g (500 kilograms) of force. What will happen? What will happen if this is pressurized at 14.7 PSI against a strong vacuum?
Voice, Apr 06 2022

       Ohh, I get what you're saying. You're proposing a new module that uses the ISS as a primary and itself, being much lighter than the ISS, can spin around the ISS holding 1g of force. Thus the ISS will experience much less strain than if the counterweight were to weight the same.   

       What you're missing is that the ISS still isn't designed for this. Pulling even at 1/20th gravity in a circle around its center of mass (and how would you even design for that?) would create an oscillation that would break a lot of things. Your module would need its own separate counterweight.
Voice, Apr 06 2022

       If they're strong enough, I'm suggesting that the ISS bricked modules be gathered like a 12-pack of Coke, as tightly and as rigidly as needed. Then this is used as the counterweight on a single truss with a much lighter active working module at the other end, experiencing .6 - .8G as it rotates around their mutual center of gravity. The counterweight would experience less stress the closer it was located to the center of gravity, and less angular momentum. If I understand correctly, each of the bricked modules are flimsy and only suitable for service in 0G, and they get some of their strength and integrity from the positive pressure they contain. Ah, well.
minoradjustments, Apr 06 2022

       Okay, I get it now. You're not proposing using the ISS at all. Only its previous parts.
Voice, Apr 06 2022

       At one point or other each of these module bits had to endure a few G's to get up there. Disconnect and reconfigure them back to that state?
RayfordSteele, Apr 07 2022


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