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Artificial gravity clothing

Clothing with varying amounts of magnetic material to simulate gravity
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Create skin tight clothing for space dwellers that has a gradient of magnetic material from not very much at the feet 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 gravitic 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 keep your muscles from atrophying and your bones from losing density.

A second problem is that maybe these magnetic fields would create some health problems? I don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure.

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 1G

3) It can be turned off at will so that you could still do cool zero-gee stuff.

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.)

terryo, Jul 08 2014


       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.
Vernon, Jul 08 2014

       Wear your Magnetic G-string and you should be all set. Me thinks, (shameless self-promo.)
blissmiss, Jul 08 2014

       Another problem is that magnetic fields with a uniform field gradient are very hard to create.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2014

       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 (say, 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 habitat work.
MechE, Jul 08 2014

       //magnetic material is going to go up with the square of distance//   

       That's what I meant.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2014

       // 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 fields.
scad mientist, Jul 08 2014

       // 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.//   

       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".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2014

       No, it's true.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2014


       " don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure "   

       " it is probably cheaper than engineering "
normzone, Jul 08 2014


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