Elon Musk Leaked SpaceX Artificial Gravity Starship 2022: Humanity has been around for a long time. For the first time in that length of time, we might be close to walking on the surface of another planet. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, plans to take technology to new heights. He has the ambition of making man walk and thrive on the surface of other planets!
Presently, he is planning to build the most technologically advanced spacecraft that would take us to the surface of the red planet, Mars. The Starship spacecraft will convey volunteers across the vast void of darkness between Earth and Mars.
However, since the trip will take months in deep space, SpaceX will find a way to protect the travelers from the effect of microgravity during their time on the trip. Therefore, SpaceX has introduced an artificial gravity Starship.
You might think that daring to visit Mars is dangerous or it’s impossible. The SpaceX Boss is moving on with his plans to take people from Earth to Mars to live – not temporarily but permanently. He’s building the Starship because of this.
This space rocket will be the most sophisticated ever built, and its setup will cater to both humans and cargo. The Starship is different in many ways. It can carry more than 100 tonnes to orbit, which is necessary given the tons of cargo that will be transported before the colonizers.
There will be systems that will keep them alive. Don’t forget, Mars’ environment is extremely harsh. Therefore, there should be special provisions for human necessity. Musk has to supply water, food, materials for constructing shelters, machinery for making rocket fuel, and all the work.
SpaceX has built the Starship in such a way that it has an upper and lower stage at the point of separation. The lower stage, or the Super Heavy booster, will return to Earth, and the ship will proceed to Mars after refueling in orbit to save cost. Both stages of the Starship are reusable.
The upper stage also reenters the Earth after each mission with heat-resistant tiles which protect it from getting damaged by the heat produced. SpaceX plans to develop almost 1000 of these starships and launch three daily. This will enable Elon Musk to quickly reach his target of 1 million people on Mars.
Obviously, the Starship is not meant for only Mars journeys. NASA also plans to use the Starship on its next mission to the Moon. The spacecraft will drop the astronauts on the moon’s surface and return them to orbit after they are done with their missions.
As a cargo carrier, the Starship is not difficult to design. However, when the Starship is meant to transport people, some complications start showing for shorter trips – like trips to the moon. SpaceX doesn’t have to worry about these because it is sustainable for several days.
Going from Earth to Mars takes months and exposes the passengers to harmful radiation in the harsh environment that the Starship has to follow. But this particular problem can be tackled by fixing Shields on the Starship, but solving the problem of gravity is a little complicated.
This issue affects astronauts that do not go as far as Mars because they have to stick to strict exercises while aboard the International Space Station. This is not always enough, as returning astronauts sometimes have to be stretched out of their spacecraft when they arrive from months-long missions.
If you have seen films centered around space travel, you will observe a massive spacecraft with actors. They live in the vehicle – fight and even shoot at one another.
However, most times, the script is silent about gravity in the spacecraft when the travelers that survive whatever the conflict is about to get to their destinations, disembark, and walk away. Therefore, Musk has to produce some gravity on the Starship to fully grasp the level of the problem SpaceX has to solve when it comes to microgravity.
According to Nitza Cintron, chief of NASA’s Space Medicine and Healthcare Systems Office in microgravity, here are the effects of microgravity on the human body. Bone loss happens at a rate of 1 to 1.5% a month, causing an acceleration of age-related changes, similar to osteoporosis, and decreases in bone density and strength are more pronounced in some skeletal regions such as the pelvis.
Although much of the loss is controllable upon return to Earth. Prolonged exposure to 0-g also triggers the risks of kidney stones and bone fractures. Extended stays in space also impact the muscles. There is a loss of muscle mass, strength, and endurance, especially in the lower extremities.
Changes in muscle performance and the effects of microgravity on connective tissues, and the demands of activities of varying intensities place astronauts at risk of fatigue and injury.
During prolonged missions, exercise effectively reduces large muscle atrophy, and astronauts utilize a cycler, geometer, and treadmill with downward applied pressure to maintain fitness.
These are facts that astronaut Scott Kelly confirmed. He found readjusting to life on Earth hard after spending a year in space as part of NASA’s twin study, as detailed in his book: Endurance.
Since Musk wants the Mars community to be self-sufficient, he will make sure he delivers the travelers there as healthy as possible. Hence, they will all die, and his plan will be ineffective.
While SpaceX is the first company to tackle the severe effect of microgravity in rocket development, it is not the first to attempt to solve the problem. One of the earliest examples of microgravity solutions was the concept by Konstantin Ziolkowski.
He was one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics in 1903. He published a study titled Investigation of Outer Space Rocket Devices. He suggested that rotational force can produce artificial gravity in space in his book.
After that, many variations of this idea have been proposed for space stations and habitats, such as the Von Braun wheel, the O’Neill cylinder, and the Stanford Torus.
Some concepts are considered for development, such as NASA’s Nautilus X Space station, which would use a rotating torus to provide artificial gravity, or the gateway foundation’s proposal for a commercial space station.
However, each of these methods has defects that make them unable to work with the Starship Elon Musk built. Some of them have shapes that will make launching difficult. Others are too heavy to be practical. While some mechanisms will consume much fuel.
Smallstars on YouTube have a great concept suitable for SpaceX’s flagship spacecraft. It utilizes a system of three starships that move together. The system has a payload Starship placed on each side by a passenger Starship.
The payload Bay is filled with a thrust that folds and deploys robotically, thus serving as the wheel’s spokes. Each starship will be launched separately from the earth, but once linked up with the passenger ships, it would swivel around to reorient itself and fire its thrusters to impart the momentum to the wheel.
Once enough velocity was accumulated to simulate Earth’s normal gravity, which is 9.8 meters per second squared or 1G, the passenger ships would reorient themselves again to face inward towards the hub ship or the center of the payload starship for the remainder of the journey.
Those aboard: the passenger ships would experience the sensation of being pulled down. All credits go to the centripetal force created by the wheel’s rotation, as Smallstars explain the design.
The gravity-linked starship concept creates a spin gravity that reuses the main engines, tabs leftover fuel, and is devoid of impractical space construction spacewalks. Basically, the GLS is a hub ship, like the hub of a wheel instead of humans in cargo; the payload bay of the GLS is filled with a truck that can fold out and lock into a place serving as the wheel spokes.
What velocity will SpaceX have to achieve to simulate the gravity on Earth on the starship? Using a spin calculator, small stars concluded that the system has retained a rotational velocity of 31 meters per second.
If the system is almost 100 meters along a radius, this will give the feeling of 1G, making it three rotations per minute. Also, Small stars calculated that this method would use the smallest amount of fuel to start and stop the spinning and prepare the starships for landing. Therefore, if the travelers follow the exercise routines strictly, they stand a better chance of arriving at Mars safely and in good health.
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