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Lesson Three Artificial Gravity, Tuesday, 5-3-11 May 4, 2011

Posted by drspaceshow in Uncategorized.

Lesson Three Artificial Gravity, Tuesday, 5-3-11


Guests:  Classroom:  Dr. David Livingston, Joe Carroll, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  Manned artificial gravity research station in LEO.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show Classroom program/guest(s) on the Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show Classroom programming. This two hour plus Classroom program was continuous without a break.  For this program, refer to the Power Point presentation by Joe, “Design Concepts for a Manned Artificial Gravity Research Facility.”  Mr. Carroll took us through this presentation slide by slide, plus he responded to listener and co-host questions throughout the program.  You can find this presentation plus his longer IAC Conference paper on The Space Show Classroom blog under Presentation Materials for our Classroom program for May 3, 2011.  Rather than writing a summary of this program, let me say that Mr. Carroll has given considerable thought to the engineering and human factors/human physiology issues regarding an artificial gravity research station in LEO.  Listener questions addressed technical issues relating to spin, center of mass/gravity, hits by orbital debris items and more.  Throughout this Classroom discussion, Joe took us into the technology, operations, and why’s regarding his artificial gravity research station.  Many issues were discussed including but not limited to Mars & lunar gravity, .06 G, spin rates, the Coriolis effect, the Gemini experiments, a Moon/Mars Dumbbell Concept, Airbeam tunnels, radial structure lengths, and much more.  Toward the end of the program, we discussed the economics, costs, and who might pay for and deploy such a station.  You will hear Joe talk about the present economic, cost, and R&D uncertainties for such a project, but you will also hear him talk about the commercial potentials, who should be given “free” access to the research station and why, the use of it with Space X as well as Bigelow, and why not doing it as a NASA project makes sense though he advocated NASA as a customer.  At the very end, I asked Joe about building some small models to help those of us who are not engineers in understanding and even visualizing his concept.  He liked that idea, talked about larger models of the size of a Boeing 737 cabin (he used this cabin size throughout his discussion and presentation), and possibly locating it at a company such as Space X.  As we concluded our discussion, all of us said that after 50 years of human spaceflight, to not be able to answer any of the questions regarding the issues discussed in this program was criminal. Furthermore, as you will hear Dr. Logan and the others say, you can determine the credibility of a human space program by the speed and determination of the commitment to understanding the necessary gravity needs for people, plants, and animals in space.  If there is no commitment to understanding these issues, the program is more likely a rhetoric only program.  Post your comments & questions on the blog URL above. You can email Joe Carroll at tether@cox.net.  All participants can be emailed through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.


1. Trent Waddington - May 4, 2011

Best classroom show ever?

2. Listener Joe - May 4, 2011

Hi Joe,

You, Dr Logan, and Dr Jurist are my heros! Yall make up the 3-pack of the AGer (Artificial Gravity – er) Group. Believe it or not, there are many like-minded people interested in what you have to say, share, and show. I appreciate your honesty in answering my questions during the show.

My suggestion is along what our beloved host, Dr. David Livingston, suggested in building a small model for people to look at when presenting your papers at conferences. My suggestion is to build a very small satellite that is ready to go to space. If you and your team make it, then people will buy it. It consists of two systems that separate after reaching low earth orbit. One system is your tethered demonstration system that is made of proportionate masses and tether lengths with a small cold gas control system. The other is another cold gas controlled system that autonomously flies in formation with the tethered system to monitor it and show it working in space by downloading video, pictures, and other data to visible ground stations. Pictures are worth a thousand words and videos are worth millions of words. Going from PowerPoint to real stuff that works in space is what turns boys/girls into men/women.

The University of Texas recently put a small satellite into low earth orbit for $250,000 after students worked on it tirelessly for 8 years. Getting young people eager to tirelessly work for free on such a project could provide the necessary catalyst to make things of wonder happen.

3. Listener Joe - May 4, 2011

Do you believe a simple experiment designed to prove the concept of the artificial gravity remedy to bone loss could possibly done inexpensively on existing or future space research platforms by using existing small centrifuges and live rats to produce hard scientific biological facts on vertebrate animals?

Wouldn’t any positive scientific result produced in a zero gravity space research environment such as the one suggested add a significant justification for further funding for tethered vehicles in LEO?

4. Listener Joe - May 4, 2011

Do you agree with the following physics phenomenon’s?

1) Assuming the moment of inertia is symmetrical about the axis of rotation, the center of gravity should be located along the axis of rotation in the spin orbit plane.

2) Assuming the moment of inertial is not symmetrical about the axis of rotation, the center of gravity should be located some distance away from the axis of rotation and cause some amount of spin wobble.

Please pause.

Assuming you agree, have you done any analysis on multi-ton rotating masses and the cross-coupling effects that impact the control system when the center of gravity is some distance away from the spin orbit plane which is separate from the vehicle’s orbit plane?

5. Tom Hill - May 5, 2011

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite was meant to find out the effect of Mars gravity on mice. It was started by The Mars Society, and run by MIT for several years. Unfortunately, they recently announced the end of the project:


The Mars Society also has a project called TEMPO^3 (Tethered Experiment for Mars inter-Planetary Operations Cubed) meant to put a cubesat in orbit to publicize artificial gravity solutions. It’s kind of in hibernation right now, but we’re currently working to get some hardware flying on a parabolic flight.

6. William J. Rowe M.D. FBIS - May 11, 2011

Would the weight required for artificial gravity i.e. fuel consumption be perhaps prohibitive for a mission to Mars?

How secure are you regarding this ?

Bill Rowe

7. jackiekingon - January 30, 2012

I address the topics of gravity on growth in my upcoming book Chocolate Chocolate Moons coming in 2012. My characters on Mars and the Moon grow taller and thinner than their earth counterparts. Vegetables like round potatoes grow in long ovals.
I was a teacher before I retired to writing humurous lite science fiction.

8. jackiekingon - January 30, 2012

Regarding my comment about gravity-My book
“Chocolate Chocolate Moons” (ISBN 1466481420), a comic novel set in the future by Jackie Kingon, tells the story of plus-sized Molly Marbles, who wins a scholarship to Armstrong University on the Moon, a haven for the plus sized set where her weight drops from 287 Earth pounds to 47.6 without so much as passing up a piece of pie.

When boyfriend Drew Barron dumps her, then jumps at a job at Congress Drugs, a company that makes low calorie food supplements, Molly’s weight is the least of her woes. And when her favorite treat Chocolate Moons are found poisoned, she finds she has bitten off more than she can chew

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