Re: Solutions to the Zero-G problem

From: Coyote (
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 19:39:29 MDT

Forgive my ignorance on this matter but why can't centrifugal force be used
as substitute ?

----- Original Message -----
From: "zeb haradon" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2000 5:27 PM
Subject: Solutions to the Zero-G problem

> Everyone here knows that the biggest problem for long term space travel,
> least in our current biological state, is that the body begins to undergo
> type of "space rot" in zero gravity, the muscles atrophy, the bones
> etc. This is most frequently mentioned as a serious barrier to a manned
> mission to Mars. On the ISS, astronauts will get two hours of excercise
> today. On Mir, and any shuttle mission, physical excercise is always
> practiced, and the astronauts are still phased when they return to Earth.
> These are missions of less then a year - missions in weightlessness
> decades would probably kill us upon returning to a gravity environment.
> There needs to be some way to have the muscles in constant excercise, as
> they are here on Earth resisting gravity. Someone mentioned the idea of
> tethers, and correctly added that they will clutter up the craft. Here are
> some possible solutions I've thought of. Feel free to build on and
> them. I'll start with the worst ideas and move up. I'm sure science
> authors have beaten me to most of these.
> 1. Have a constant downward air flow. Basically, the astronauts would live
> in a wind tunnel pushing them into the ground. They would need to
> muscle power to stand against it. It would probably take a lot of power,
> would be noisy, and would require specialized ships (would not be
> and it would be impossible to read a newspaper. Also, they would probably
> deaf very quickly.
> 2. Have the ship filled with water, or some more viscous fluid. The
> astronauts would face some resistance just trying to get around because
> would need to fight against the water. A downward flow, as in idea number
> would assist too and give a direction to the artificial gravity. Drawbacks
> are that it would weigh the ship down a lot, and that they would need some
> way to breath, perhaps by suits or, in 25 years or so, by respiocytes
> can leave their body to interface with the water and drawing out oxygen.
> computer equipment would need to be water proof. A benefit is that the
> could be drunk, and broken down by solar powered electrolysis to use for
> fuel, and it would provide some protection against radiation. It would
> to be constantly cleaned, would require special ships, and is not
> Respiocyte reference:
> 3. Replace the force of gravity with the magnetic force. This was my first
> idea: somehow have the astronauts body have metal in/on it, either by
> attachments to his body (no more complicated then jewelry) or implanted in
> him. Possibly, devise some molecule which has an impermeable bio-friendly
> core, and is full of metal on the inside. Then megnetize the floor. The
> problem is that the megnetic force is very strong close up and very week
> away. His feet would feel the effects but his head would still be in
> unless he fell down. The effects would be no different then having a
> floor. Then I came up with the idea of having it so that the astronaut has
> small electromagnets all over his body, and the floor is metal. The
> electomagnets would be able to sense how far they are from the floor, and
> adjust their magnetism to approximate the effects of gravity. The
> electromagnet on the soul of his foot knows it's less then a centimeter
> the metal floor, so it is completely off. The one on top of his head knows
> it's far away so it would be on maximum power. If he falls over, each
> on/in his body senses the approaching ground and adjusts its strength
> accordingly. The problems with this are that there would have to be
> extensive testing to find out the effects of having a super-powered magnet
> right next to your brain 24 hours a day - maybe there already is data on
> this, but I don't think it would be good for you. Also, I don't know if
> electromagnets can be that strong and that powerful at the same time. The
> equipment may get heavy. The ships would have to be somewhat specialized:
> they could have no metal parts except for the strip on the floor. The
> computer equipment in the ship would need to be adapted to be resistant to
> the constant magnetic fields, hard disks at least would have to go and
> slower alternative would have to be used.
> 4. The best one I've thought of is completely portable and do-able within
> years. There is a "smart material" called electroactive polymer. It has
> proposed as an artificial muscle for robots or even artificial muscle for
> humans. It bends, in a muscle-like way, in response to a voltage applied
> it. So my idea is, build a suit embedded with this stuff and have it react
> to your movements in such a way as to approximate the effects of gravity.
> When you lift up your arms, it senses the movement away from the ground,
> applies a slight and calculated resistance, trying to pull your arms back
> down. This (and number 3) could be turned off with the flip of a switch in
> an emergency situation. When it's on, it might take some getting used to.
> would think your movements would be kind of jerky, and until it's tested I
> wouldn't know how long it would take to get used to it, if ever. This one
> completely portable and could be used on today's space shuttle. Another
> thing about it is that it would have a direction of gravity, but that
> direction would not have to be the floor, it would just be whatever
> direction your feet happen to be facing, and you could still float. Here
> a reference to the electroactivated polymer material:
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Zeb Haradon (
> My personal webpage:
> A movie I'm directing:
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