Monday, January 18, 2016

Artificial Gravity? (part 1)

This last weekend, I watched “The Martian,” and the realism of the movie reflects a lot of the challenges we'll face when someday going to Mars. One of the issues that didn't need to be addressed in the movie was the long journey to Mars, and the effect a zero-gravity environment would have on the astronauts. This was shown to be a non-issue because the spacecraft the astronauts traveled in had a rotated centrifugal design, generating gravity inside the capsules on the perimeter ring. Astronauts were also seen running on treadmills inside these capsules, so we are to assume that the long journey did not affect the pioneers adversely. However, weightlessness in space is a very real problem that NASA is currently addressing through research in artificial gravity, a study that has been previously on and off for decades. The three-year long journey to Mars has made gravity-related issues very crucial, and NASA is now devoted to finding a solution. Answers need to be found soon, if we are really going to go to Mars.

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