Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Non-Conductive Tethers - Free Artificial Gravity In Orbit

Tethers connecting satellites or space stations have some interesting effects even if they are not conductive (see Electrodynamic Tethers: Clean Up Debris - Power or Boost Spacecraft). A non-conductive tether made of a very strong, light material like Kevlar can be used to connect two objects in orbit, one farther away from the Earth than the other.

Two forces act on any object in stable orbit; an outward-pulling centrifugal force balanced by a downward gravitational force. Connecting two satellites in different orbits will cause them to act as one system. The outer satellite will experience a weaker gravitational force and a stronger centrifugal force; a net force pushes the satellite outward. The opposite set of conditions prevails on the lower satellite. The lower satellite orbits faster, and tows the other along like a water skier. The system reaches equilibrium when the tether aligns in the radial direction towards Earth.


(From Electrodynamic Tethers)

The effect is rather small; a fifty kilometer tether would produce about one percent of Earth's gravity. However, it may be that this very small acceleration could reduce the problems with constant free fall, which is a constant irritant on space missions. Liquids would tend to settle (slowly), and everyone would know where "up" was.

I went ahead and purchased online access for a year of SA as well as access to their archives. That material looks great on my laptop! (Hopefully this unsolicited testimonial will make them happier about the one purloined image shown above.) Science fiction writers have also been interested in the idea of generating microgravity environments in orbit. Science fiction author David Brin has made a good story (from 1982) available; you might want to go read Tank Farm Dynamo. This story gives you a good idea of what it might be like to live in this environment. The story takes maybe fifteen minutes to read.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/9/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.' - Poul Anderson, 1953.

Superfast Energetic Electron 'Precipitation' Pelts Our Earth!
'On the three-dimensional map at weather headquarters on the planet Kaider III, the storm was colored orange.' - AE van Vogt, 1943.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

True Crime Live Podcasting In Fiction
'And loving it too, those millions. Bloodthirsty to the last one of them.'

AI Employment Decision Software Reconsidered By California Lawmakers
'They had screwed up and been blacklisted by Manna. They were back living with their parents or sleeping on the sofa with a friend.'

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
'No human mind could ever hope to master even a small portion of what was being received every second, Sam thought, but it would all be there...'

Optimus Prime Tesla Robot Overall Humanoid Software Architecture
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.