If we have discovered artificial gravitational force, will we be able to create an artificial habitable planet in our solar system? E.g., if a rotating cylindrical object in space can produce artificial gravity at its perimeter, is it theoretically possible to build such an object in space and by injecting air and other ingredients (soil, water, etc ..., ) into it make it a self-sustaining, life-supporting artificial planet?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's such a good question that they dedicated an entire stackexchange site to it! :) Welcome to SXSE; and take a look at worldbuilding stackexchange! But I think there is a possibility of this being answered here from a more practical point of view, as in "no, not possible any time soon for the following reasons..."? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 19 '17 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ There is a big difference between a "rotating cylindrical object in space" and an "artificial planet". $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Jun 19 '17 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Big rotation spherical object with some additional qualification could qualify as a planet , why can't a Big Rotating Cylindrical object build by us with the same qualification could not be considered as a artificial planet? $\endgroup$ – user1161925 Jun 20 '17 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ In the scifi-sector this has been answered long ago. You might be interested in reading "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke. $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape Jan 7 '18 at 19:12

It is theoretically possible to build large artificial structures in place, including ones capable of supporting life. You wouldn't need artificial gravity if you use centripetal acceleration as you mention in your post, or if the object is massive enough it will have gravity of its own sufficient for humans.

What it would take to build structures like that are propulsion, energy and manufacturing technologies which are far, far more advanced than what we have currently. You'd have to be able to move a vast amount of material to one place, then transform it into into something else using heat or some sort of manufacturing process. Our propulsion systems are inadequate to move large objects quickly enough to use them, they are barely enough to get small probes to other planets in our solar system. We can power spacecraft for life support and to do a bit of work, not melt down an asteroid, which we don't have the technology to do anyway.

So while its certainly possible, its going to take a long time.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Once it got substantially massive, I wonder if one would need 100$\times$ the "planet's" mass in propellant to gently and non-destructively deliver the material, or if one could just let it fall in and crash (gravitational collapse by design)? It depends if one wants one's "planet" to have a molten core or not I suppose. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 20 '17 at 8:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I guess it depends on how long you want to wait to use it. If you bombard a planet to build it then it's going to be completely molten for at least thousands of years. If you let it coalesce maybe you use it faster, although if you can build it in the first place you can probably deal with those factors $\endgroup$ – GdD Jun 20 '17 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ That's a good point! It's going to be hard to even get near it with spacecraft due to radiant heating. OK you are right, for planet-builders it may not be such a problem. After all... How can the Parker Solar Probe survive passing within 4 million miles of the sun's surface?, and How does the Parker Solar Probe's heat shield protect it from dust near the sun? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 20 '17 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ TL;dNR: This is science fiction. $\endgroup$ – Antzi Jun 20 '17 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ The question is whether it is technically possible @Antzi, and, well, it is. It's just not feasible right now. $\endgroup$ – GdD Jun 20 '17 at 12:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.