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For a spacecraft cruising without thrust it is my understanding that the sort of spin gravity utilized in the film 2001, for instance, would actually be debilitating to the crew due to the coriolis effect.

So I'm thinking of a ship design where there is a separate area of the ship that is a sleeping compartment, a ring with beds basically, where they then just get the benefits of gravity when they are asleep, not moving around getting dizzy.

It might even be useful for dining and other biological functions where you don't necessarily need to move your head around.

So, question: would going back and forth each day between g and zero g have any drawbacks?

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The severity of coriolis problems depends on the spin radius and radial speed. For many purposes, even a little gravity is a good thing. Food will stay on the plates and drinks will stay in the bottles at $1\ m/s^2$.

So the answer is to find a "sweet spot" between excessive nausea and the physiological and practical problems of microgravity.

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  • $\begingroup$ So if you could operate the ship where everybody keeps the same hours then you could spin the ship at 1 m/s^2 or less during "business hours" and spin faster when everyone is seated at mess or in shower/bathroom, and go full 1 g when everyone is asleep. By the time the crew reached Mars they wouldn't have so much trouble adjusting. $\endgroup$ – Duke Leto Nov 10 '19 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @DukeLeto, my suggestion is to spin the ship all the time, slowly enough to minimize nausea, fast enough to keep the feet on the deck and the wrench in the toolbox. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Nov 10 '19 at 17:55
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We don't know.

The data we have are only for long stay in microgravity (days to months of astronauts, in particular those used to study the physiological impact of prolonged permanence in microgravity), or very short stay (the few seconds that the vomit comet can provide).

As far as I know cycle of 8 hours gravity/16 hours microgravity have never been tested in real life.

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  • $\begingroup$ Out of interest, what's this "reinstate Monica" thing about? $\endgroup$ – TheDyingOfLight Nov 10 '19 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDyingOfLight, you can find more here $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Nov 10 '19 at 17:09

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