Can there be a rotating space station?

I have read books that propose creating extra living space for humans by building huge space stations that rotate for artificial gravity. This would have many benefits. Heavy industry could be done in space with the benefit of hard vacuum and microgravity and kept off Earth. There would be lots of room for social experimentation, as well as a frontier that would provide humanity with a challenge much like the American frontier, except this time, no one would be killed and no ecologies would be ruined. Space travel would be much easier if spaceships could be launched in microgravity. However, I have read at http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q1704.html that "a rotating space station would never work the way that you see in movies like 2001:A SPace [sic] Odyssey. Eventually the gravitational torques would cause terrible precession effects like a bobbing, spinning top." Is this true? If so, can anything be done about this problem?

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  • Ubi
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have no idea what to make of the answer from infernaltrowa... wow.

    I have read about several problems with a large rotating space station:

    1) How do you dock with a rotating space station? Not very easily at all.

    2) The structure of the station would have to be reinforced such that it could hold all the parts together. I am pretty sure today's space stations are not built to be nearly strong enough to provide 1G of acceleration for the astronauts inside.

    3) The further towards the center of the structure, the less "gravity".

    4) I'm not sure how bad the precession would be.

    If you have seen the movie Armageddon, you know that the cosmonaut on board made the Mir space station rotate to "simulate gravity", haha. That entire sequence was horribly done. Check out the Armageddon movie reviews at the two sites linked below for a good laugh and learn about how improbable it may be to build a well-designed space station with "artificial gravity". Those authors can probably explain better than I can.

    I have read small bits in various magazines/news that a smaller rotating pods may be viable on say the moon if living quarters were ever to be built there. The astronauts could sleep or hang out in those pods to get some time with simulated full strength gravity such that their bodies do not fatigue so much from living in reduced gravity. I wish I could point you to further reading on this concept but I can't seem to find anything on the net.

    I hope that helps get you started learning about the subject more.

  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    it extremely is real, yet too short a radius and the gravity in an astronaut's feet could be rather greater than in his head. Longer additionally has the benefit of the slower the rotation velocity the less difficult universal docking is going to be. and since the cenrtifugal stress will improve with the sq. of the tangental speed an prolonged radius, to a component of structural issues, is extra useful. Edit: in this context all of us understand what's meant by capacity of "gravity", and to might desire to apply an extra dozen be conscious to maintain the pedantic happy isn't actually worth the difficulty. whether, a centripetal stress is a real stress; thus, the floor pushing up on the bottoms of ones feet.. A centrifugal stress it an apperent or inertial stress. A fictional stress is what one makes use of on megastar Trek to guard the enterprise from photon torpedos. If one is going to journey the pedant prepare take it each of how into the depot.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i'm not sure there's a way to fix that problem, but the main problem that worries me about living in space is all the radiation and energy waves that would be passing through my body constantly, with no atmosphere/ozone to protect people from that. possible what could fix the problem that u are speaking of, build a sphere inside sphere. the outer sphere would rotate, creating artificial gravity. the inner sphere could be where humans could live, and it would be kept stationary, or at least stable enough, so that we wouldnt feel the bad effects. does that help any?

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