We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Artificial Gravity?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Artificial gravity is a replication of gravity which is used to make people in space more comfortable. When artificial gravity is used, people experience conditions similar to those on the surface of the Earth. In addition to making people feel more secure in their environment, the use of artificial gravity also reduces the problems associated with prolonged periods of weightlessness, including loss of muscle tone.

Science fiction has explored this idea for a long time, and numerous depictions of the concept can be seen in works of science fiction. For films and television shows, it's easier to film people in an environment similar to that found on Earth than it is to mimic low-gravity conditions, adding incentive to incorporate the presence of artificial gravity into the plot. The mechanisms used are usually imperfectly explained, illustrating how challenging it is to create gravity which will work effectively.

One of the most straightforward ways to create artificial gravity is to rotate a space ship or structure, but this necessitates building a very large structure, and places limitations on the design. Engineers have expressed concerns that such designs may be impractical and difficult to execute. Researchers have also proposed creating gravity by filling the core of a structure with enough mass that it creates its own gravitational field.

Other proposals include the use of magnetism, which has worked in small-scale experiments in laboratory environments, or utilizing basic physics with linear acceleration. As long as a spacecraft is in motion at a high enough rate of speed, the people on board would experience something like gravity. A reduction in speed or halt would allow people to become weightless again. It is also potentially possible to use two space ships together to create artificial gravity.

The need for artificial gravity is one of the major barriers to space travel. People who spend too much time in low gravity or free fall environments can develop serious musculoskeletal problems, which is very undesirable. Low gravity can also be very frustrating, as objects need to be carefully secured for safety, and ships must be designed with special features which allow them to cope with minimal gravity.

Proponents of space colonies and settlements in far-flung corners of the universe are especially interested in being able to mimic gravity. The ability to replicate conditions on Earth would be critical for the success long term settlements in space or on low-gravity planets. There are numerous other obstacles to such settlements, of course, including concerns about radiation and the need for a friendly atmosphere.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.