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Without artificial gravity exploration of deep space can not be - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 April 2015 03:00

Long stay in space has serious consequences. Medical research on the effect of microgravity on astronauts after months of exposure to low-Earth orbit (LEO) came to the bitter conclusion: people can not live without gravity fully. Thus, the artificial gravity is increasingly discussed as an essential component of long-term missions in space as close to the ground and further away from it.

Artificial gravity will be particularly important for perennial commercial missions where robotics will be operated by a crew stationed in the vicinity of the asteroid, which mined minerals and held other jobs. Such gravity will also be useful for long-term studies on the bodies of low gravity like the Moon, Mars, or even satellites of the outer planets.

William Kemp Washington believes that, together with his business partner Ted Mazeykoy found a viable solution to these issues. This 30-meter diameter cylindrical space station capable of creating artificial gravity variable with the rotation of the cylinder about its longitudinal axis.

"If we want to stay in space longer than a year, we need to make the system of artificial gravity or we will sacrifice people in this process," - said Kemp, founder and CEO United Space Structures.

For over three decades, Kemp worked on perfecting their ideas. The company currently has a project in a patented process and is seeking funding and other partners who can contribute in a large way.

The idea is to achieve an artificial gravity due to centrifugal force which would require rotation of creating downward pressure. A small 10-meter structure, in theory, can rotate fast enough that people feel attraction, but Kemp says that the astronauts with such a structure will have terrible problems of the inner ear.

"If the speed is too high, your sense of balance goes down and soon you will feel a terrible pain in my hands and knees," - says Kemp.

Nevertheless, a small cylindrical station diameter of 30 meters, the proposed Kemp, will be able to maintain the gravity of the earth in 0.6; is the minimum that would allow people to live safely at the station for at least two years. The astronauts will live inside the cylinder and the outer hemisphere structure.

Kemp says the 30-meter cylindrical station required rotational speed of 5.98 rpm and a minimum useful size to create artificial gravity. Fast speed of rotation would be inconvenient astronauts.



"The direction of rotation of the cylinder does not matter - says Kemp. - The rate depends on the radius of the rotating object and gravity that you need; the larger the radius, the lower the rotational speed. "

The first step in the testing of United Space Structures will be a test of the 30-meter prototype LEO says Kemp. Although this 30-meter station can fit at least 30 people, it will work well in deep space, and in the near-Earth environment of resource extraction on asteroids.

What partners will be engaged in the construction of these plants?

"We are in talks with companies like Deep Space Industries, who want to collect resources on asteroids, and other companies that want to collect resources on the Moon - says Kemp. - We would like to use the platform launch SpaceX, but it will significantly increase the costs, so initially we will use composite materials for construction, not metal. "

Despite the projected jump in space medicine in the next two decades, Kemp absolutely convinced that artificial gravity is always needed. Over time, in microgravity reduced muscle and bone mass, compressed optic nerve leaves the retina, lowered immunity, perhaps even broken critical thinking.

Of course, this does not mean that the artificial gravity will be a panacea.

In environments with artificial gravity, astronauts will still know that they are on a rotating station, says Kemp. Walking on such stations will remind downhill because the floor will go from under their feet. Walk in the opposite direction of rotation will remind uphill because the floor will rise. And if you go perpendicular to the rotation in either direction, will feel that you are showered aside.


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