Astronauts spending lengthy periods of time in space experience a number of negativ effects due to weightlessness, such as weakening of muscle tissue and loss of calcium in bones.These effects may make it very difficult for them to return to their usual environment on Earth.How could artifical gravity be generated in space to overcome such complications?
A rotating cylindrical space station creates an environment of artificial gravity. The normal force of the rigid walls provides the centripetal force, which keeps the astronauts moving in a circle. To an astronaut the normal force can’t be easily distinguished from a gravitational force as long as the radius of the station is large compared with the astronaut’s height.
The visionary physicist Gerard O’Neill proposed creating a giant space colony a kilometer in radius that rotates slowly, creating Earth normal artificial gravity for the inhabitants in its interior.These inside-out artificial worlds could enable safe transport on a several-thousand- year journey to another star system