After seeing this article about a skin-tight space suit, I was wondering what were the different ways of combating the negative effect of being in space, e.g. artificial gravity? How far away are these technologies?

I see this as the biggest barrier for long-duration space travel, as the technology exists for actual travel (albeit slow and expensive). Is this premise accurate?

EDIT: I know the scope of this question is broad. I don't need the answer to be too in depth.

  • $\begingroup$ Surprisingly little Big Agency research has been done about centrifugal gravity substitute. But there's much "amateur" interest in the subject. Here's "some guy" Joe Carroll with ideas: artificial-gravity.com/IAC-10-D1.1.4.pdf You can search him, and artificial gravity, on (the podcast) thespaceshow where people have been interviewed on the topic. It'd be great if skin-tight suites work, but it seems to me to be pretty far away from actually walking your body weight on a floor. (Don't give me that "opinionated" crap, the subject hasn't been researched, speculation is all there is.) $\endgroup$ – LocalFluff Mar 20 '14 at 14:13

I think one of the important things to consider about artificial gravity, especially in deep space, is the impact of thrust. Since, especially on interstellar, rockets could be expected to be accelerating or decelerating for the entire duration of the flight, simply doing so at 1 g would completely alleviate the need for any form of artificial gravity.

I'm not sure what other negative effects your thinking of, but radiation comes to mind for me. Of course, you can always bury your human cargo behind some form of radiation shielding and can reasonably expect much of the radiation to come from the nearest star.

For an example of the previous two points, in the case of a Project Orion nuclear propulsion model, it would be reasonable to use 1 g acceleration half way to the destination, micro-thrusters to change orientation, and and then 1 g deceleration to destination with the propulsion plate being used to deflect radiation from stars. While far from a comprehensive solution, I hope this address some of your concerns.


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