PBS Digital Studios: “What’s the Most Realistic Artificial Gravity in Sci-Fi?”

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PBS Digital Studios offers a series of 10-15 minute “science teacher” monologues about various topics in sci-fi and possible future space travel.

One of these is “What’s the Most Realistic Artificial Gravity in Sci-Fi?”

The 11-minute short discusses the artificial gravity of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Ringworld”,  “Halo” (game), and “Babylon 5” (a sci-fi series from the 1990s).

Most of the problems in science fiction have to do with the Coriolis Effect.

A small space station would have to rotate quickly to achieve enough “force”.

The film considers “Halo” to have the most realistic idea.  But that depicts a ring about 4/5 the diameter of Earth.  The ring could be expanded to a cylinder.  In my “Epiphany” screenplay, you could imagine an alien civilization (maybe from Tabby’s Star and a possible Dyson Sphere 1450 light years away) being deposited near Titan, but eventually NASA would detect it.  My setting is more like that of Babylon 5.   Since it is a cylinder mounted on Titan, the gravity of Titan (1/7 that of Earth) would add to  Coriolis problems.

Artificial gravity from “centrifugal” and “centripetal” force does not have the “benefit” of the gravitational field of a nearby body of much larger mass than oneself (that is, a planet).  Maybe gravity plates with some sort of neutron-star stuff could be constructed by an alien civilization.

Here’s a sample “Game Movie” from Halo that may convey an idea of what this world could look like (it’s long).

And here’s a doc about the making of “Babylon 5” which might convey the feel of that world.

On June 1, 2016, CNN ran an article by Thomas Page, “Space Oddity: NASA’s Guide to Future Living“, the “Cylindrical Colony”

(Published Tuesday Jan. 26, 2016 at 11 AM EST)

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