So, in this setting, by the year 2139, humans have landed a fleet of settler ships on Titan to create the Asteria colony. They will repurpose the ships into anchored buildings, and stay there until they can utilize Titan’s resources to make more structures. The colonists have rudimentary fusion reactors, but as the colony grows they’ll become insufficient to power everything. The largest ship in the fleet is almost entirely full of water and food, enough to last until they can grow hydroponic produce. They will get the majority of their air from the chain of Portable Atmospheres (space stations that are full of the most oxygen-producing plants available) that stretches back to Earth. Aside from setting up the colony, the main thing colonists have to do is get hydrocarbons, which are pretty abundant on Titan. They’ll burn them for heat, which will heat up the atmosphere. Sounds like Asteria is bound for success, right?

Just one problem: gravity. Titan’s gravity is a measly 0.138 g, about 83.5% of Luna’s. We all know about the negative health benefits of low gravity, and I want the colonists of Asteria to be, physically, almost identical to Earthbound humans. While this low gravity has a couple benefits (namely that a human could just strap some wings to their arms, jump off a cliff, and flap their arms to fly very well), it’s mostly bad for life. My question: How can the colonists contend with Titan’s gravity?

Some more info about the setting:

  • Humans have a fair amount of colonies on Mars, but haven’t taken any measures to alter the gravity, since the detriments are much less on Mars than Titan. They also have developed airship colonies on Jupiter by using hydrogen for lift.
  • Asteria is situated half a kilometer south of the Kraken Mare.
  • There are eight ships in the Asteria fleet. Each can store about 1,500 humans and has a volume of 7,754 m^3.

If there’s any more information needed, I’ll try to provide it.

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    $\begingroup$ To be slightly pedantic, we know about the negative health effects of microgravity, as aboard the International Space Station. To my knowledge nobody's really had the opportunity to do an in-depth study of what happens to people in an intermediate gravity regime. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Dec 14, 2022 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I may have to revise this question. However, there will still probably be negative health effects, even if they’re not as severe as those of microgravity. Also, the human colonists will be on Titan to stay, whereas humans have only spent a year maximum on the ISS. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ That ^ aside, there's nothing you can do about it, those born, raised and living their entire lives under a 0.138 gravity are never going to be physically identical to Earth born and raised humans .. about the best you can do to mitigate loss of muscle is to have them carry around 7.25 times their own weight in lead distributed across their body sewn into pockets in their clothing their entire life .. and that won't help with any small internal muscles, valves etc that may help to move blood and other fluids around the body so perhaps expect some circulatory problems if they to go to Earth? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Dec 14, 2022 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ assuming an average weight of 80 kg on Earth multiplied by 7.25 that's only around 1.8125 cubic feet of lead I think? so it doesn't need to be too bulky if distributed across the body .. the big problem is most people just wont wear it, they'll likely simply discard most of the weights for convenience most of the time. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Dec 14, 2022 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore kilograms and cubic feet? I know someone who's titan mission is going to crash horribly. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2022 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


Quality time, not quantity time.

spinning machine


Your Titans traipse around in low G most of the time. But every day they need to spend some time spinning. It is just a fact of life on Titan - a personal hygiene thing like brushing your teeth. On Titan you get spun. Some of these machines are like the one depicted. Some have a 3d frame like this on a long spinning arm to generate a centrifugal force that stands in for gravity.

Instead of 1g all day long the Titans do 5g for 10 minutes twice a day. They don't pass out because they rotate during this time so blood winds up in their heads occasionally. Plus they are used to it. They miss it if they have to do without.

  • $\begingroup$ Bursts of -5G would damage things like the blood vessels in your eyes. Doing that daily for a lifetime sounds like it would cause other issues besides. Positive 5G's is a lot... with training you can certainly deal with it sans G suit, but without straining it's plenty enough to G-LOC somebody pretty fast. And it wears you out, straining like that (even intermittently) for a prolonged time... stories of pilots in USAF Fighter Lead-In who do a morning of centrifuge training & then nap most of the afternoon. I only pulled Gs in T-37 + T-38 & no 'fuge, but I'm doubting this plan. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Dec 15, 2022 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Ralph - you got to be raised with it. Come up 'fuging you know. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 15, 2022 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ Just let the sleep in small centrifuges. Much less of a hassle and it gets you around the ugly tidal and coriolus effects. $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2022 at 8:26

It might all be fine

Micro gravity like on the ISS crates very specific issues because there is no down anymore. This is bad, because some fluids don't drain properly and so on. As already pointed out in the comments, we need data. If you are really concerned about the issue there are two ways open for you.

Genetic Engineering

This study managed to double muscle growth in rodents and worms by suppressing a growth inhibitor genetically. Being honest, genetic enhancement would be very desirable for space farers and colonists in any case. The colonists would likely have undergone extensive somatic and probably germline gene therapy before leaving for the colony. Enhancing balance, cold resistance (to survive accidents, Titans temperatures are too harsh), gene repair abilities and so on all seem very valuable.


Generating "gravity" is easy. In space, we use rotation to crate pseudo-gravity using the centrifugal force. If you want to do this on a planet, you use an inverted conical boul that who's floor and velocity are balanced in a manner providing gravity perpendicular to the floor. From there on, you are free to do normal landscaping. The access points should be somewhere near the middle and titans temperatures lend themselves neatly to the use of superconducting magnetic bearing.


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