Just curious really. Considering that at some point in the future there might be rotational-based habitats, this would mean there would be easy access to variable gravity and/or low gravity environments.

In this case I'd like to know if any particular activities or procedures could take specific advantage of variable and/or low but not micro-gravity, or if there were any activities/processes that aren't possible on Earth or in ISS microgravity that this new environment would open up.

There are recreational activities like zero-G sports and I'm sure other things, but am also asking about things more serious than that.

Having a lower-G habitat might, for instance, be beneficial to the elderly. There may also be production/manufacturing benefits potentially, though I don't know specifically what would benefit (hence asking here!)

  • $\begingroup$ Cool question! There was already a close vote so I've adjusted the wording of your question to make it better fit the site's style. Please feel free to edit further. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


Low enough gravity and you can have human wing-powered flight.

I don't know how much of a sport it would make, but at low enough gravity you can run on water. If you can manage to arrange it, have a competition like high jumps--keep raising the bar (in this case, gravity) until only the top person makes it across.

In a spin "gravity" environment that isn't too big you could have some interesting variations on marksmanship--put the target far enough away that a high arc is needed to hit it which will introduce some tricky Coriolis effects, and some wind effects also. (If you have enough vertical space for this sort of thing you have enough that you will get differential air movement.)

Basketball would become a very different game in a quite low gravity environment. Use a basket that is at an angle that can only reasonably be hit by someone who has jumped well above the court.

In spin "gravity" environments where the center is hollow you could have axial jumping competitions--likely with a power assist of some kind. So long as you're close enough to the center you can use aerodynamics to steer, but if you get too far away you're going to fall. Either do this in low enough "gravity" that the fall is safe, or wear a parachute. The objective is to get as far as possible from your jump point--if you're using a chute the deployment altitude would be preset for everyone to keep people from trying to stretch the glide by pulling too early and risking the chute collapsing.

In a low spin "gravity" environment that is open inside, jumping competitions--a power assisted jump, your objective is to land as close to the pin as possible--that is on the other side of the environment. (Yes, you're taking off with more energy than you can safely land with--it's going to bleed off in the air. Safety is determined by terminal velocity.)

  • $\begingroup$ I was highly skeptical of the 'running on water' since I had always though that it was to do with the size of a human relative to the surface tension of water, but no, it's actually possible: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22815681 $\endgroup$
    – Freddie R
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @FreddieR I had forgotten about the paper but I have seen it before and knew the limit from it. Surface tension is an issue for the things that can stand on water, but the things that can only run on water do it by slapping the water, not by surface tension. $\endgroup$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 22:34

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