prospective: Nations around the world are increasingly thinking about our future in space, not just trips to the moon and back. Long-term colonies on the lunar surface and on Mars are well within reach, but astronauts will need to deal with gravity — or lack of it — before it becomes viable.
While many would love the opportunity to experience the reduced gravitational effects of an environment like the Moon or Mars, research has shown that it can have a negative impact on things like bone strength. We also don’t know what kind of impact gravity would have when giving birth in space, or how a child raised in a low-gravity environment would handle coming to Earth.
The Moon’s gravitational pull is about 16.6% of Earth’s; on Mars, it’s closer to 38 percent than what you experience here on Earth.
To explain the differences, researchers and engineers from Kyoto University and Kajima Construction Co. proposed an artificial gravity system to support humanity’s space life. The residential installation would generate gravity using centrifugal forces.
The cylindrical architecture will measure 100 meters wide and up to 400 meters high (328 feet wide and 1,312 feet wide). It will complete a full rotation once every 20 seconds and generate 1G of gravity where the radius is the greatest, which is equivalent to what is experienced on Earth.
The team is also considering creating core biomes and is considering a high-speed interplanetary transport system that would allow passengers to move between Earth, the Moon and Mars.
The researchers still have plenty of time to get the details right and work on funding, considering they don’t expect colonization efforts to become a reality until the second half of the 21st century.
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