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Gravity Plating

 Red Sands of Revolution, The Way of the Leaving, NAS 842, Frontier Express, As They Go, Genocide of Desperation, Gentlemen’s Wager

Current Science:

Gravity is a force that attracts all bits matter in the universe to each other.  Isaac Newton defined this relationship in the 1600’s through his Theory of Universal Gravitation. Simply stated, each particle of matter attracts every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and the square of the distance between them.

In equation form,

Gravitational Force = (Gravity Constant x Mass-1 x Mass-2)/(distance)2

In short, the gravity force between two objects are directly affected by the size (mass) of an object and it’s distance from another object. 

The planet Earth is much larger than people so its mass exerts a large force upon an individual’s mass (this is gravity).  Fly up into space, and the force of the Earth pulling on an individual quickly declines with the increasing distance between objects.  This is why an astronaut on the moon feels only the moon’s gravity.  Earth is too far away to feel its gravity force. The pull of the Earth still exists on the moon, but it is not enough for a person to feel (just as on Earth, the moon pulls at the oceans, but people do not feel it directly). Since the Moon is 1.2% of the mass of Earth, the gravity felt on the Moon is that much less.

Gravity can be simulated under current technology through centripetal force.  Spin an object and it has a force that is felt in relation to the distance from the center of that spin.  On Earth, the effect of Earth’s gravitational force can be overcome by spinning an object.  Amusement park rides use this effect daily.  People are subjected to all manner of spinning rooms that hold people to walls while the floor drops away from their feet, rollercoaster can run in loops, and hammer shape rides spin people upside down while they stay in their seats.

This works in space too, where creating a spinning room can hold a person who is in motion with the room’s “wall,” which would then be a floor.  Current technology does not have a practical means for re-creating gravity in space.

The Future Technology of Gravity Plating:

In the future, the most common form of artificial gravity is not really artificial in the mathematical sense.  Gravity Plating and Gravity Netting are the most efficient systems used on interplanetary ships and on planets and moons with less gravity than the visitors were born to. 

Gravitational Force is exerted between an object (like an astronaut) and the floor (covered with gravity plating or netting) through the controlled artificially increased mass in the plating/netting system. Currents of energy are circulated out of the lower matter layers of the floor plating and into the upper matter layers of the floor plating. The net effect increases the plating’s mass on top and decreases it on the bottom. Increase the mass of the upper layers enough, and you have an attraction between crewman and the floor. To counter the effect of the mass on the decks below, the underside of the plating has energy removed from the matter of the underside layers creating a neutralizing effect for the gravity force that would otherwise radiate downwards to the ship below.  All of this happens conductively as the ship’s crew passes over the plating to conserve energy.  The gravity is not present in unoccupied corridors or even a few feet from a lone crew member standing still.

Since the gravity is conductive based on the crewman standing above, a spacer born on Earth can tune his personal gravity to be stronger than her crewmates who might have been born on Mars.  Also, passengers on an outbound cruise ship can have their specific gravity slowly adjusted down to match Mars gravity so they are more accustomed to the native forces when they arrive. On Mars, people prepare for a visit to Earth by spending months in hostels built with gravity plating to condition their bodies for going to their ancestral world.

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