Author Topic: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge  (Read 3268 times)

Offline nixter

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 Has it been considered that long term, low gravity induced problems could be addressed with punctuated high gravity using a small on-board centrifuge? It may be discovered that being subjected to very high G's for a short time every 24 hours may counter the effects of long-term exposure to micro gravity. One hour in a centrifuge at two G's would strengthen the body against the negative effects of micro-gravity. I know that the idea of on-board centrifuges is nothing new, but has the idea of brief punctuated bursts of high gs been considered? The experience would probably be unpleasant and space travelers would learn to dislike them because high Gs are generally considered to be stressful and uncomfortable, but if some basic research on the ISS or elsewhere were to show that this works to counteract micro gravity, it might be worth it. I did a search on punctuated high gravity and did not find anything similar but I know that anything I can think of has probably already been thought of by several people, but I presented the idea here just in case it has not.
 Pre-conditioning space travelers in high gravity environments for some time before a mission begins would also probably help in resisting the negative effects of micro-gravity environments. Elon Musks Hyperloop technology could be used to make a very large centrifuge by constructing a large circular track with a 1/4 to1 mile diameter, people would live in these modules for long periods of time and the g's would be slowly increased incrementally as the occupants adjusted to the conditions. Athletes would use these as conditioning units for upcoming strenuous events and they would probably give them an advantage that would be eventually be considered unfair because of the results. It would be interesting to see how a human would adjust to the high G conditions after becoming conditioned to them and also interesting to see how they would feel and react when first reintroduced to one G conditions. I read somewhere that mice subjected to high Gs over long periods of time are at first unable to move around freely, but then they adjust and move about as they would under normal gravity. If this is true, humans should be able to adjust to these high gravity conditions also, especially if the process takes place over several weeks or perhaps even longer periods of time.
 

Offline speedevil

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #1 on: 08/29/2018 03:13 pm »
Has it been considered that long term, low gravity induced problems could be addressed with punctuated high gravity using a small on-board centrifuge? It may be discovered that being subjected to very high G's for a short time every 24 hours may counter the effects of long-term exposure to micro gravity.

This isn't the sort of thing that can be actually tested without testing it in full-up tests.

You can't meaningfully extrapolate between intermittent high and 1G, and intermittent high and 0G meaningfully, when the behaviour you are interested in occurs pretty much only between 0 and 1G.

It's the sort of research that needs done, but the investment needed to do it is huge, and can mostly be hand-waved away as un-needed, given the effects of going from 0G for 6 months to a year to 1G are well known, and the reasonable assumption that Mars would be less bad.
For the return journey, pretty much all that needs to happen performance-wise to the crew is for them not to die.

Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #2 on: 08/29/2018 07:34 pm »
Why not just let them sleep in a 1g environment? Being fairly still and level they shouldn't suffer quite as many side effects from the rotation.
My optimistic hope is that it will become cool to really think about things... rather than just doing reactive bullsh*t based on no knowledge (Brian Cox)

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #3 on: 08/29/2018 08:10 pm »
Why not just let them sleep in a 1g environment? Being fairly still and level they shouldn't suffer quite as many side effects from the rotation.

What would this be good for? Lying in bed on earth is used as a reasonable emulation of microgravity for medical tests.

Gravity needs to be used for exercise. Plus toilet facilities would profit a lot from it.

Offline dglow

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #4 on: 08/29/2018 09:51 pm »
Why not just let them sleep in a 1g environment? Being fairly still and level they shouldn't suffer quite as many side effects from the rotation.

What would this be good for? Lying in bed on earth is used as a reasonable emulation of microgravity for medical tests.

Gravity needs to be used for exercise. Plus toilet facilities would profit a lot from it.


If spending 7-8 hrs/day in a centrifuge mitigated the vision impairment some experience, that alone would make it worthwhile.

Offline nixter

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #5 on: 08/30/2018 04:48 am »

This isn't the sort of thing that can be actually tested without testing it in full-up tests.
You can't meaningfully extrapolate between intermittent high and 1G, and intermittent high and 0G meaningfully, when the behaviour you are interested in occurs pretty much only between 0 and 1G.
It's the sort of research that needs done, but the investment needed to do it is huge, and can mostly be hand-waved away as un-needed, given the effects of going from 0G for 6 months to a year to 1G are well known, and the reasonable assumption that Mars would be less bad.
For the return journey, pretty much all that needs to happen performance-wise to the crew is for them not to die
.

 Just as I thought, there may still be hope because space X has relatively unconventional research and development processes, they may find a way to invest in this type of research to determine whether or not it is viable.  It may be that the gravity environment on Mars is insufficient to support basic human health norms, if that is the case there will need to be some type of artificial gravity used on an ongoing basis to maintain bone health etc. etc.  if human beings are going to be traveling back-and-forth between Mars and earth in a continuous stream of missions, then our low gravity problems will have to be solved.  In the end most of these problems can be boiled down to one element, money. Space missions in general rarely have enough funding to provide truly robust, large space born equipment, one of the exceptions being the ISS. Perhaps with a planned space station between earth and the moon or a moon base, spaceX, utilizing the BFR will be able to assemble a large spaceship capable of having a huge built-in centrifuge like in 2001 a space Odyssey, that would solve the problem nicely.  This type of spaceship would always remain in space traveling between Mars the moon or the earth.  Of course this solution is obvious, but unattainable because of the lack of funding needed.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #6 on: 08/30/2018 07:41 am »
I have a different idea. Just go to Mars and see what happens. Make expensive plans when they are needed.

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Artificial Gravity -punctuated gravity using a centrifuge
« Reply #7 on: 08/30/2018 07:57 am »
Has it been considered that long term, low gravity induced problems could be addressed with punctuated high gravity using a small on-board centrifuge?

...
 

Yes, it has been considered. There are many studies on the topic stretching back to the 90s.

1997: (using intermittent standing, walking as a substitute for AG)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11540676

2018: (gender differences in reactions to intermittent short-radius centrifugation)
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00716/full

Basically, it works for a lot of things. Until we get some data from actual spaceflight though, we're not 100% sure how effective.

And as mentioned, centrifuge for toilets would also be great. Going to the loo in zero g is a nasty affair.

I'm not sure how this thread is SpaceX related, though. Unless you want to propose a centrifuge to stick inside a BFS perhaps.
« Last Edit: 08/30/2018 08:01 am by Lampyridae »

 

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