The Possible Reality of Artificial Gravity

While a staple of science fiction, artificial gravity is actually balancing on the line between possible and fanciful.

7. 6. 16 by Jelor Gallego
NASA
Image by NASA

Making Science Fiction, Fact

Working to make astronauts lives easier and less health damaging is a pretty big goal for NASA. The real problem is actually limiting the effects of zero gravity on the human body. Science Fiction has posited the solution of artificial gravity. However, as this video shows, that is no easy feat.

Artificial gravity could certainly be a possibility with current technology. Sadly, we are limited by the expense and availability of materials. Through the use of centrifugal force, a spinning space station would be able to generate artificial gravity. However, it would have to be spinning at a very fast rate. Alternatively, it’d have to be big enough to not need speed. The trade-off is between being too big to build or spinning too rapidly to be practical.

Building something as huge as science fiction models would certainly cost. Building the eponymous space stations from the 2013 film Elysium would require 500,000 people contributing $10 million each. Even more, aluminum would have to be mined from asteroids as Earth’s supply would not be enough.


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