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Could a Spacheship Be Built Like This to Have Gravity?

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posted on May, 7 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Hey, I remember reading a while back in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Oddysey book I think about how the living quarters of the spaceship constantly rotated at a high speed and was shaped like a cement mixer; this way, the forces generated from the rotation simulated gravity. Anyhow, I think that the flaw with this is that the rest of the ship would have to turn in the opposite direction, one of Newton's laws (I forget which one), the one about for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. Basically, why a helicopter needs a tailrotor. So to counter this, couldn't a secondary living quarters just be put onto this ship to spin in the opposite direction to keep the ship steady and leveled? It could have like a superstructure with two spinning living quarters for travel through space.

I figure if the crew in each quarters needed to switch over, they could temporarily stop the rotation and then change crew. It would only be a temporary loss of gravity, not days or anything, more like an hour at most I'd suppose.

The only major risk I suppose would be if it struck an asteroid or something, considering a pea-sized object in space can have the impact force of a tractor-trailer at 60 mph.

Maybe the raft could have a very strong shield placed on the front, so that if anything smashed into it, it would protect the crew??

Is this idea plausible or not, any of it?




posted on May, 17 2006 @ 04:32 AM
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The rest of the ship would not need to spin in in the opposite direction The equal and opposite reaction law in this instance would mean that to spin part of the ship you would use thrusters along the outside, you fire a little thruster and the equal and opposite reaction is that it moves. I know i didn't really explain it that well.

Think of it this way though putting a bearing over a metal rod, you can spin the bearing but that doesn't mean that the rod spins too.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 05:14 AM
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I like your username, wheelsrcool.

Anyways, yes. Torque would build up over time, until the spaceship was an uncontrollable mass. There is currently a competition on here at ATS, where people have to design a mission to Mars. What until those submissions are put in, and see what people have to offer. I think you'll find that you are not the first to think of this problem!



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by watch_the_rocks
There is currently a competition on here at ATS, where people have to design a mission to Mars. What until those submissions are put in, and see what people have to offer. I think you'll find that you are not the first to think of this problem!


[size=10]YES!!

Mission to Mars: A Space Exploration CONTEST

WheelsRCool, you obviously have a good idea and a handle on things. So let's see what else you have to offer up and enter the contest by sending me a u2u!



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:43 PM
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If you like Arthur C Clarke, then you may have read "Rama", in which a cylinder shaped spacecraft spun to create the gravity.

People would enter and exit through the center on one of the ends in zero gravity, and as they climbed "down" to the walls of the cylinder gravity would increase until 100% at the bottom.

This design is inherently stable and provides the entire craft with gravity.

Rendezvous with Rama


Man, a Rama designed craft sure would be good for long space trips...



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by WheelsRCool
Hey, I remember reading a while back in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Oddysey book I think about how the living quarters of the spaceship constantly rotated at a high speed and was shaped like a cement mixer; this way, the forces generated from the rotation simulated gravity. Anyhow, I think that the flaw with this is that the rest of the ship would have to turn in the opposite direction, one of Newton's laws (I forget which one), the one about for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. Basically, why a helicopter needs a tailrotor. So to counter this, couldn't a secondary living quarters just be put onto this ship to spin in the opposite direction to keep the ship steady and leveled? It could have like a superstructure with two spinning living quarters for travel through space.


Spinning a portion of the ship would have an immediate effect on the rest of the ship only if the rest of the ship was used as an anchor to "push" from to generate the spin. An easy example of this sort of an engineering mistake would be if the spinning portion were to be spun using an electric motor that is attached in some way to the stationary portion of the ship. If the motor was located in the non-spinning portion, it would be attached to the floor, the wall or whatever. If it's located in the spinning portion, then it has to be in contact with part of the non-spinning portion in order to have something to push against to start (and maintain) the spin.

As Distortion said, this problem can be avoided by placing thrusters on the outside of the ship. The thrusters would constitute what's called a "couple" and would rotate the living quarters quite efficiently.

Unfortunately, there are no "perfect bearings" and no spin is perfectly stable, so eventually enough torque would be transferred to the rest of the ship to cause it to spin as well. But how could that possibly be a problem? There are, after all, thrusters on the non-spinning part of the ship as well, no? These would easily correct the problem.

Lastly, you are right about the "opposite spin." This concept wouldn't completely solve the problem of the torque transfer, but it would absolutely reduce it considerably.

I'd also add that either concept, one or two rotating living quarters, would result in an extremely stable ship due to the angular momentum - essentially a giant gyroscope (or two!)

Harte



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