-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sat, 13 May 2000 02:06:23 -0700


At 21:16 5/12/2000, you wrote:
>> Axis is the only asteroid shown to have a gravity block system.
>> Yes, there
>> could be gravity blocks in all of the large asteroid bases. Luna 2 is an
>> oblate spheroid and could well have a gravity block at its center. Ditto
>> Solomon, at the intersection of the six lobes. A'Bao'A'Qu has a spheroid
>> grafted to a cone, so the placement seems obvious here, too.
>>
>> But, to my knowledge, no such gravity block has ever been cited
>> for any of
>> them.
>>
>
>That brings up a point, Jupitoris, Paptimus Scirocco's He3 transport ship
>has a gravity block system, right? I can't forsee Paptimus showing up at
>the beganning of Zeta, driving that overpowering mobile suit Messala while
>spending his entire 18 months journey in Zero G. And for that matter,
>probably all of the Jupiter Energy Fleet's long haul ship has gravity block
>system.

Both the Jupitoris and Thousandth Jupiter class ships sport a "habitat
ring" type of gravity block -- external, which has become the rule since
the Ahgama was introduced in Z Gundam. This makes a lot of sense, as it
gives a longer moment arm (radius) and this more "gee" with fewer RPM and
thus considerably less torque.

As I understand it, the Jupiter Energy Fleet doesn't have colonies per se,
but rather live on their giant gas "mining" and refinery ships. Axis was a
way station between the Earth Sphere and the JEF, but there may have been
others that never get shown. Ditto giant mobile repair docks like La Vie
en Rose, which also has a ring-type gravity block.

I have always felt that people living in space would standardize on the
slightly higher acceleration of 10 m/s^2 (32.8084 ft/s^2) -- 1.01972 gee --
rather than the actual 9.80665 m/s^2 (32.174 ft/s^2) as a simple
engineering expedient. It's a nice round figure that would simplify
calculating state vector updates enormously. The 10 m/s^2 rate would be a
"Standard gravity" and "Terrestrial gravity" would be given as 0.980665
Standard gee.

One result of this is that someone raised aboard a ship or colony at one
Standard gee would actually be slightly stronger and have slightly faster
reflexes (things fall faster and hit harder, so you have to be quicker and
tougher as well as stronger) that Earthlings. That's a generalization, of
course, and only applicable to those who spend most of their time in the
Standard gee.

The Lunarians would, of course, be correspondingly weaker and more fragile,
as I know of no way to create a practical gravity block on the Moon, any
more than you could build a habitable sustained 6-gee accelerator on Earth.

That being said, we are genetically engineered by millions of years of
adaptation to an acceleration close to the aforementioned 10 m/s^2. We'll
atrophy in a less acceleration, but unless we atrophy to the point of
collapse of some vital organ or process we can build ourselves up
(re-adapt, if you will) to a full gee or beyond. We spend the first nine
months of our lives in a near-zero gee environment, hydraulically suspended
in our mother's womb. We have to develop our muscles and skeletons as we
grow up in order to stand, walk and run. Some of us train to perform
incredible feats of agility while others barely go beyond basic mobility,
but unless crippled by birth defects or illness we all have the potential.

I doubt that humanity will change much physically, at least not visibly or
significantly, unless we do some purposeful cosmetic or genetic
alterations, either through gene modification or simple selective
breeding. If an entire population migrates to the same colony, in-breeding
might produce a distinct somatotype among that population, but that would
take generations of isolation unless it was purposefully augmented in some way.

The higher background radiation in space might induce mutations, but 80% of
all mutation is defective or nonviable. I'd expect that darker skins would
be less prone to dermatoma and would thus become more prevalent, but again
this could take generations to become apparent. Given that white folk rule
the world and that dark folk would likely be exported to space earlier,
unl"EIKof course it's more profitable to live in space than on Earth,
political and not biological forces will have a greater effect on the
physical makeup of the colonists. I still expect that the majority of
colonists will be dark-skinned, but I allow as how Zeon might still be
mostly blond if Zeon Zum Daikun and most of his followers were Nordic and
all emigrated to Side 3 en masse.

-Z-

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