Space Architecture

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mars Gravity Biosatellite

As a follow-up to the previous post about artificial gravity, here's a group, called Mars Gravity, that plans to launch a satellite that will simulate Martian gravity for 15 mice. According to this Press Release, "the mission could launch in 2006". Well, the year 2006 ends in a few weeks. According the program's sponsor website, Your Name Into Space, the satellite won't launch until 2010.

Better later than never (just say that to yourself repeatedly).

How will the artificial gravity be created? I'm not sure, judging by reading the website. I think that the spinning itself would be created by the Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) System and/or the Attitude Determination and Control (ADC) System. According to the1988 Shuttle Reference Manual, the Rotational Hand Controller (RHC) controls the vehicle's rotation on the three axes: yaw, pitch, and roll. I presume that the satellite-equivalent of the RHC would maintain a constant rotation about one axis, while maintaining relative stability about the other two.


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