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My biggest points are lower muscle mass because of the lower g (gravity) in an artificial habitat and fragile, less dense bones. They would also get sunburns quicker, because most of the time they are being covered from regular sunlight by gigantic shields, thus relying on supplemented vitamine D. These humans would be physically handicapped in an Earth like planet setting, although more trained, because they'd have a strict training rigour to keep themselves relatively healthy.

Is this idea justified by what we already know about space? Is there a way to make it more realistic? What other side effects can you think of? And please give me links to all of the sources you're using.

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    $\begingroup$ (1) Allow me to warn against trying to create fiction that absolutely reflects Real Life. We know next to squat about the universe. We're regularly surprised by what we find. You're limiting your ability to dream with that kind of restriction. (2) Noticeable physical changes are a regular trope of SciFi (Orion slave girls come to mind…). (3) You already have an answer to your question. You're asking us for permission to use the answer. That's not what we do. (4) Don't be worried that your readers might judge your creation "unrealistic." Most aren't qualified judges anyway. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 11, 2022 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ Upvote for freeing the Orion slave girls. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jul 11, 2022 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ This won’t be physically obvious to look at, but your space dwellers would probably have poor vision. google.com/amp/s/scitechdaily.com/… $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2022 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ Pleas edit this to ask one and only one question. Currently you're asking 3 "is it justified?" , "is it realistic?" and "What else can you think of?". $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jul 12, 2022 at 2:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore "Generations" can refer to two generations or 2,000. I've personally seen a "generation" defined as 20 years (genealogists' favorite number, when you can get them to stop arguing about it) and 100. It's anything but specific, But I would have been content if the specific number of generations had been mentioned-but that wasn't given, either. (How long can that space station remain in operation, anyway?) So VTC for needing details. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 12, 2022 at 13:58

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For changes in generation 1 there are observed changes in real astronauts you can read about.

For changes in generation 2 then there is exogenetics where some genes can turn on or off if it is beneficial.

For later generations you would expect the changes to slow down because exogentics I am told is not cumulative. Once you turn a gene off you cannot turn it off a second time.

One reason the space dwellers might not change too much after generation 1 is a lack of natural selection. Yes inability to walk under gravity is not selected for. But it is not selected against either.

Other genetic changes due to life experiences are called Lamarckism. I believe no one has bothered to disprove Lamarckism since we invented the DNA theory of genetics. So MAYBE your colonists can look different after a thousand years. Who knows?

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