James T. Kirk, Commander Spock and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy may saunter around uninhibited in artificial gravity, unafraid of the nausea it causes and subsequent barfings, but such powers are beyond mortal men and women.
However, a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder could actually turn the scientific dream into a reality.
The study, co-authored by CU Boulder aerospace engineer Torin Clark and published in the Journal of Vestibular Research, came to the conclusion that essentially anyone can adapt to stimulus.
Astronauts floating around in International Space Station may look like they are having the time of their lives in the weightless environment, but a lack of gravity can actually be a serious detriment when it comes to long-term health.
Researchers from the CU Boulder have designed what could possibly be the first step towards artificial gravity devices installed in spacecraft for the benefit of human travelers in deep space missions.
The gadget — a large, table-sized spinning machine — could possibly offer a look into the future.
Staying in ultra-low-gravity environments for an extended period of time could wreak havoc on a person’s muscles and joints , and that is why ISS is packed with exercise equipment to help astronauts stay in top notch conditions.
However, they are effective only to a certain degree.
The new disc-shaped artificial gravity device, like the one built by CU Boulder could add to the astronaut’s fitness routine allowing space travellers to stay healthier for longer periods of time.
However, motion sickness remains a big hurdle.
While a person is spinning on the device, head movement tends to create a stomach-churning sensation that could provide extremely unfortunate for astronauts in space.
However, the team has been working on personalising the gravity routine for each individual up to the appropriate rotation speed that is right for them.
By doing so, the researchers were able to get all test volunteers to a speed of 17 rotations per minute without making them barf.
The researchers concluded that the volunteers’ ability to acclimate to the centrifuge is promising, and paves the way for further research, including how much artificial gravity would be needed to counteract the negative impacts of living in space.