Rotating Space Station

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In several science fiction movies, space stations are presented as spinning concentric rings; the centrifugal force, an apparent force resulting from the true mechanism of centripetal force, provides a sensation of apparent weight to the crew due to the radial push against the floor, giving an environment similar to Earth for working and living. One ring can rotate to simulate gravitational force and the other can be static to take advantage of weightlessness for other kinds of tasks.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The centripetal force is equal to , being the mass, the angular velocity and the radius of gyration.

Supposing that the space station has a radius of 100 m, the centripetal acceleration needed to equal the weight on Earth of a person is approximately 31.5 m/s.

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