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4

To add yet another facet to a question which has provoked such excellent answers: WEIGHT A space station that is not spinning weighs nothing, however massive it is. To a first approximation, it could be held together with string. A space station which provides a 1g centripetal force means that the floor under your feet weighs 1 ton per ton. Which is a lot of ...


6

To Study Zero G It's pretty hard to study zero-g if you're not in a zero-g environment. Now the question implies that we could mitigate some of the effects of zero-g, say on the crew's health, by simulating gravity. However, this ignores that the effects of zero-g on crew health is part of the ISS's mission: Research on the ISS improves knowledge about the ...


12

O'Neil cylinders have a very large minimum radius of several kilometers for a reason, or several reasons in fact. One can't just spin up a small station to simulate gravity and expect a person to be comfortable when the acceleration at their feet is so much greater than the acceleration at their head, and it gets worse as soon as they start moving due to ...


26

There was a proposal to add an experimental rotating habitat: Nautilus-X. One of those wonderfully tortured backronyms: Non-Atmospheric Universal Transport Intended for Lengthy United States Exploration - eXperimental. Its primary purpose was to extend how long humans could live in space not only through artificial gravity, but also storage for consumables, ...


36

It's a good question, followed by many relevant responses so far. I'll focus on the physiology aspects. Research had been conducted for decades prior to ISS launch on creating artificial gravity through spinning. The short of it is: the human balancing system (inner-ear plus brain) cannot not handle the spinning motion on the scales of what humans could ...


14

The other answers good, but I think we miss something. Imagine a spacewalk around a rotating space station. With the current technology, we do need regular spacewalks. Everything dropped doesn't just float around. It is lost for good. The peripheral surfaces are hard to access from the outside - it would need mountain climbing equipment and skills. ...


48

I'll add one or two more items to Mark's excellent list. Stability - large rotating platforms (and they have to be large to produce useful artificial gravity) are subject to all sorts of precession. Cost. The ISS was not cheap. Now imagine just getting maybe 50 ISS' worth of mass into orbit, assembled, and then enough fuel to spin it up.


81

Reliability. Any rotating station needs non-rotating components: solar panels need to face the Sun, radiators need to be shadowed, docking points need to be non-moving, and so on. Making a rotating joint that can last decades is hard; if the hub of a rotating station seizes up, the resulting accelerations are likely to tear the station apart and kill ...


3

The answer, I think, is almost certainly to reduce stresses associated with the sharp ends of the chevrons in the grousers, although the wheel designs differ in other details as well (see below). As is well known, Curiosity has suffered a significant amount of damage to its wheels. Quoting from the reference above: The tears result from fatigue. [...] The ...


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