Vince Leon (vleon@u.arizona.edu)
Thu, 11 May 2000 09:16:08 -0700


I can try and comment on 1 and 2 but I'm not sure about 3
1. I assume that trees would grow straight up since there is no wind
inside a colony. The atmosphere would be moving in the same direction and
speed as the inside of the colony so anyone or thing would feel that there
is no wind. This however can cause problems from what scientist learned at
the BioSphere-2. The scientist did everything they could to create a self
contained world except for one thing, they did not create any internal
mechanisms for creating wind. So, any tree that grew over 25 feet became
very prone to tipping over. Apparently, wind is a big factor in tree
growth. As the wind moves the growing tree this cause the outer bark to
strengthen so that the tree can support its own weight. So anyone working
on a colony should consider a mechanism for creating wind to help in tree
growth.

What about the momentum of the rotating colony, would that cause the tree
to bend. I would say no, because anything attached to the colony would
obtain the same momentum as the rotating colony.

2. What your talking about is the coriolis (I think that's spelled right)
effect. And the answer is, Yes. This can cause problems with the
inhabitants when the rotation is less then 1 rotation per 60 seconds. Look
at the spining rides at the amusement parks, they rotate more then once per
60 seconds and the effect is dizziness, and vomiting. That speed is fun
for a ride but not fun to live in.

To generate 1-Gee the minimum you would need for 1 rotation per 60 seconds
is a radius of about 900 meters. So you would want a colony with a radius
greater then 900 meters. By increasing the radius you also increase the
rotation time needed to generate 1G. For example, a colony of 1,500 meters
would rotate once every 77.7 seconds

3. For this question, the only thing I can think of 'Is the asteroid large
enough to spin to create artificial gravity?' If these things are too big
they can create their own very weird artificial gravity which would be very
uncomfortable for anyone trying to live on it.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Vince Leon
vleon@u.arizona.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: James Boren [SMTP:jboren@earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 10:31 PM
To: gundam@aeug.org
Subject: [gundam] Colony questions

1. Would trees grow straight up, or bend in a colony?

2. Would increasing the diameter of the colony lessen the weird
side-effects of the rotation-induced "gravity"?

3. How are the living spaces carved out of asteroids like Luna II,
and A-Bau-A-Qu? I mean are the floors all stacked on top of one
another, or are they all arranged so that the ceilings all point
away from the center of the asteroid? A-Bau-A-Qu must have a strange
gravity field considering it's shape.

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