There is an inverse attraction
Once around its own axisWith artificial gravity on the way to Mars
Everything is being done on the International Space Station to eliminate gravity as much as possible. After all, most of the experiments are supposed to take place under microgravity, i.e. without the disturbing influence of the earth. When traveling to more distant destinations in space, however, the opposite signs apply, emphasizes David Smitherman from the Office for Advanced Concepts at the Marshall Space Flight Center of the US space agency NASA in Huntsville, Alabama:
"For Mars missions it would be an advantage if the spaceships had artificial gravity. One third of the Earth's gravity would be sufficient. That is because the force of attraction on Mars is just as strong Get off the landing immediately and get on with your work. "
Rotation makes docking of other spaceships impossible
The simplest concept of artificially creating gravity would be to make a spaceship rotate around its center. Linked by an elongated lattice structure, gravity would prevail in the crew quarters at both ends of this vehicle. The crew could stand up there and move about. However, this process also has disadvantages, says materials engineer Emily Peterson of Michigan Technological University:
"If the entire spaceship is rotating, it is impossible to dock with another spaceship. Entry into the Martian atmosphere cannot be carried out with an object that is rotating."
Just as a spaceship would only be set into rotation after take-off, i.e. in space, it would of course also be possible to slow it down, for example for a docking process or for landing. However, it would not be pleasant for the crew, explains Peterson:
"Every start and every shutdown of the artificial gravity influences the well-being of the astronauts. This is where the Coriolis force works. We feel it when our body is accelerated or slowed down.
Because of her, some people get sick while driving. The same thing would happen to the crew of a spaceship every time the rotation of their spaceship comes to a standstill or starts moving again. So we should avoid irregularities in the rotation as much as possible. "
"Nobody dares start from scratch"
Instead, David Smitherman from NASA advocates a kind of centrifuge, as last seen in the movie "The Martian":
"There would be a section in the middle of the spaceship where weightlessness would prevail. But in a spinning wheel outside there would be gravity. Perhaps we should develop such a more sophisticated system."
If you take a look at the Mars spaceships that are currently being planned by NASA and various American space companies, it becomes clear that none of them are designed to turn on their own axis. And also not a single one has a segment in which artificial gravity can be generated. Peterson:
"Starting from scratch within a multi-billion dollar program - that is something that nobody dares. Space companies much prefer to trust the tried and tested barrel-shaped modules and just modify them a little.
Artificial gravity is considered too complicated. There are too many strangers. We also do not know how the human body reacts to rotating continuously. That's why space engineers and companies prefer to continue working with what they know. "
Going to Mars without a centrifuge is certainly easier and cheaper. However, it could take revenge on landing at the latest. Because then, after several months of flight through weightlessness, the astronauts will no longer be used to gravity and will have to take a long time to adjust to it on Mars.
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