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44 votes
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Can/should you swim in zero G?

Two major problems present themselves right away. As the human body is almost neutrally bouyant with water, one might think that there are no issues with the actual movement in water. But this is only ...
Quietghost's user avatar
  • 2,476
34 votes
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How does one throw a boomerang in space? Does it return?

You throw it in space (in the ISS) just like you would in a room on Earth. It returns to you if it is properly built, and you are capable of properly throwing a boomerang to make it return (this does ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 813
27 votes

Qualitative differences between gravity and a spinning habitat

First, I'll adopt terminology from Ringworld: "spinward" is in the direction of spin, and "antispinward" is opposite the direction of spin. And I'll say a bit about the Coriolis equation, but then go ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
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19 votes
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What would ice-skating be like on Europa?

Why Is Ice Slippery? That's a surprisingly involved question. The main takeaways: The common explanations of "pressure melting" and "frictional heating" are indeed true to some degree, but they can't ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
14 votes
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What happens if you jump on a "spin ship"?

We must remember that there is no spoon gravity here and that as soon as our astronaut is no longer in contact with the floor they must have an essentially straight line trajectory. Below is a ...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
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Did NASA tell the Skylab astronauts to "Stop running around!"?

I think they did (page 120): The reference is a bit indirect, but the water storage was right next to the 'exercise ring' (storage lockers):
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
13 votes
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What would the human gait look like on Mars?

Indeed Mars's gravity is about twice that of the moon, but getting around on your own two feet will probably be similar, at least when in an environmental suit. In my answer to the question about ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
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12 votes
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When was there a dog in ISS's Kibo module?

No dog was ever on the ISS. This is from an advert of a Japanese cell phone provider called SoftBank. Here's the full video: The ad is part of a series. This episode ...
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's user avatar
12 votes

Drone Racing on moon

Basicly you have 2 Options (and a third hybrid one): Fastest: Do a sub-orbital hop with a reaction engine. It doesn't matter if this is a cold-gas thruster, a rocket engine, a anti-matter engine... ...
m.fuss's user avatar
  • 1,249
12 votes
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Can you ride a bicycle on Deimos?

At that surface gravity, I don't see how it would be possible to ride a bicycle. The friction between the tires and the road is how the motion of the wheels is converted to motion of the bicycle and ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
12 votes

Can/should you swim in zero G?

Off the top of my head, two issues for free swimming (no breathing gear) I can think of: Absent a sense of "up" and "down", it would be very easy to become disoriented and lose track of where the ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 17.3k
12 votes

How does one throw a boomerang in space? Does it return?

The return function of a boomerang works in the atmosphere only. Therefore no return in the vacuum of space. The 'arms' of a boomerang are profiled like a airplane wing, but wings do not work without ...
Uwe's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is this the golf ball that Alan Shepard hit on the Moon?

That photo is a composite (links to here). Not only was the picture a combination of several Hasselblad shots, but the golf club, ball, the S-Band legs and some shadows were drawn in. The publishers ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
9 votes

Can you ride a bicycle on Deimos?

Yes, with suitable modifications. The loop must be ferrous. Your bike needs strong magnets in the wheels. You will start out with low friction and have to pedal very gently but as you build up your ...
Loren Pechtel's user avatar
8 votes
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Riding a bike on the moon

Yes, but it would be tricky. First, I will assume from your question that this bike riding will happen indoors, in a shirt-sleeves environment that does not yet exist, such as a lunar station. Riding ...
Miles Mutka's user avatar
7 votes

Will colonists on Mars have enhanced physical mobility relative to an Earth-normal environment?

The initial velocity assumption in TidalWave's answer is incorrect. The maximum initial velocity value is calculated from the accelerating force (muscle work) minus the decelerating force (gravity) ...
Lars's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

Are there any examples of a reduced-gravity sporting event or match being played in space?

ISS expedition 53/54 crewmembers played badminton. Video:
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
7 votes

Drone Racing on moon

Small automated flying probes have been considered for the exploration of lunar lava tubes. From Flying, Hopping Pit-Bots for Cave and Lava Tube Exploration on the Moon and Mars. by J. ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 5,178
6 votes

Is the vestibular system ever useful in spaceflight?

During the first 3-4 days of spaceflight the vestibular system is essentially useless as the brain becomes confused by sensations in the inner ear that do not match what is seen with the eyes. For ...
Steve Pemberton's user avatar
6 votes
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Qualitative differences between gravity and a spinning habitat

Depending on how close you are to the habitat's center of rotation, you'll feel anything from zero-g to the maximum the habitat is designed to offer - so while homes may be located in a one-gee zone, ...
Snoopy's user avatar
  • 623
6 votes

At what surface gravity can't astronauts do full steps anymore?

Short answer: You would transition to running at what is a comfortable walking speed on Earth, and movement would take about half of the energy it does on Earth (Source 1). This does not take into ...
IronEagle's user avatar
  • 965
6 votes

Are there any examples of a reduced-gravity sporting event or match being played in space?

Some informal lunar sports-adjacent activity occurred on Apollo 14: [Al] Shepard brought along a six iron golf club head which he could attach to the handle of a lunar excavation tool, and two golf ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
6 votes
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Exactly how does one lope on the Moon?

Moon Loping is a form of legged lunar locomotion performed by humans on the natural Earth satellite (the Moon) where the human propels itself through a space above the lunar surface along a ballistic ...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
6 votes

What would ice-skating be like on Europa?

To complement: There is the highest resolution photo of Europa surface by Galileo probe. Resolution is 6 meter per pixel. We can see the surface is no so flat, more suited for alpine skiing than ice ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,061
6 votes
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Why does the Smithsonian have a replica of Alan Shepard's golf club, and the real one is at a golf museum?

Claire Brown, communications director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, was asked the same question. “The reason that it’s not in this museum was that it was personal property of Alan Shepherd....
dez's user avatar
  • 386
6 votes

Why do we never see astronauts doing breaststroke or the "Man from Atlantis" swimming movements, say, and thus swimming in air in free fall?

Air is very different from water. It is much less dense, and it is much less viscous. When you thrust your outspread arms back under water, the water can't "get out of the way" of your arms ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 11.3k
5 votes

Are there any examples of a reduced-gravity sporting event or match being played in space?

Sunita Williams ran the Boston Marathon in the ISS. Tim Peake ran the London Marathon in the ISS. source
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
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Designing a bicycle for Mars?

Regarding safety, a bicycle designed for Martian conditions would quite likely use more than two tires for stability. Why? A regular bicycle with two tires is mostly stable, even in rough terrain, ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
5 votes

Qualitative differences between gravity and a spinning habitat

Below this answer there is a discussion about driving a car (generalizable to any vehicle) around the inside of a rotating cylinder. If you drove fast relative to the cylinder in the retrograde ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes

Is the vestibular system ever useful in spaceflight?

Answer: The vestibular system is useful in spaceflight for maintaining visual fixation. Without a vestibular system, vision would be degraded when the head is moving in relation to the object of ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k

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