While it would Be cool for people to be able to live in space, the “weightless” environment poses some serious challenges. Humans do best on Earth’s surface, where they are affected by a constant gravitational force. Without it, there are well-known consequences of long-term exposure to microgravity, including loss of bone mass and muscle atrophy.
So if we want to live in space, we’ll need to create an artificial gravity environment. We only have one way to do this: build a vehicle that moves with constant acceleration. The most popular concept is to create an orbiting spacecraft. But this is not as easy as it seems. Here’s why.
feeling the weight
First, let’s go over the basics of gravity and what it means to feel your weight.
Gravity is an attraction between objects that have mass. Since both your body and the earth have mass, there is an attractive force that pushes you toward the ground and keeps you on the ground. Although this force is constantly affecting you, you do not feel it, because the earth is pulling it at the same time All parts of your body, making the effect undetectable.
I know what you’re thinking: “I’m sitting here in this chair, and I can totally feel my weight.“Actually, what you feel isn’t gravity. It’s the force of the chair (and the ground) that pushes you up. We call this upward driving force your ‘apparent weight.'”
We can get a good feel for the concept of apparent weight by taking a quick ride in the elevator. The elevator starts to rest. But when you press a button, it starts to move up. This means that it must have an upward acceleration – at least for a very short period of time, for the elevator to reach its travel speed. During this upward acceleration, you feel a little heavier. Then as soon as the elevator approaches its programmed floor, it must slow down. This means that it is accelerating to the downside. During this time, you feel lighter.
But, of course, your actual weight never changes. Your true weight is a measure of the amount of gravitational force exerted on your body, which is the result of the interaction between your mass (m) as well as the mass of the Earth and your distance from its center. On Earth, gravity exerts a force of 9.8 newtons per kilogram. (Mass and weight are two different things, so on a planet with different gravity, your weight will be different, even though your mass will be the same.)
Riding an elevator does not change any of these factors. What changes is yours Clear Weight. It’s a little strange, but this effect is very useful for a spacecraft.
Let’s say you’re in space where there is no gravity – or even in low Earth orbit, where there is microgravity, which is the name we give to a “weightless” environment. What if your spacecraft had a giant elevator that was constantly accelerating upwards? If the elevator’s acceleration had the same value as the gravitational field at the Earth’s surface, your weight would feel exactly the same as it does now.
Of course, a spacecraft with an infinite lift is impractical. It would be easier just to make the whole car accelerate. This would create an artificial attraction. In fact, this is the primary method used on ships in the science fiction series Extension.
#Spacecraft #rotation #problem