Perspective: People around the world are increasingly thinking about our future in space, and not just about trips to the moon and back. Long-term colonies on the surface of the Moon and Mars are within reach, but astronauts will have to contend with gravity, or lack of it, before it becomes viable.
While many would be happy to experience the weakening of the gravitational influence of an environment such as the Moon or Mars, research work showed that this could have a negative effect on things like bone strength. We also don’t know what effect gravity will have on giving birth in space, or how a child raised in a low-gravity environment will cope with arriving on Earth.
The Moon’s gravity is about 16.6% of the Earth’s; on Mars, it’s closer to 38 percent of what you experience here on Earth.
To explain the differences, researchers and engineers from Kyoto University and Kajima Construction Co. proposed artificial gravity system to support human space life. The residential complex will generate gravity using centrifugal forces.
The cylindrical architecture will measure 100 meters wide and up to 400 meters high (328 feet wide and 1312 feet wide). It will make a complete revolution every 20 seconds and generate 1 G of gravity at its largest radius, which is equivalent to what happens on Earth.
The team is also thinking about creating core biomes and is even considering a high-speed interplanetary transportation system that would allow passengers to travel between Earth, the Moon, and Mars.
Researchers still have plenty of time to work out the details and work on funding, given they don’t expect colonization efforts to become a reality until the second half of the 21st century.
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