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IMPROVED MODEL OF A TETHERED SPACECRAFT SYSTEM WITH ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY

A. Craifaleanu, C. Dragomirescu, N. Orasanu, A. Ovanisof
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Maintaining health and physical condition of astronauts during long-duration space
missions requires measures to prevent microgravity effects. At present, such measures
consist in practicing certain physical exercises, in using elastic suites, as well as in
special medication. However, the efficiency of these solutions is limited. An alternative
approach, technologically more difficult, but considerably more efficient, consists in
producing a state of artificial gravity in the module inhabited by the crew. Such a
solution can be achieved practically by putting the spacecraft into rotational motion
about its center of mass, so that the centrifugal forces produce effects similar to gravity.
But certain physiological considerations impose a relatively large rotation radius, while
economic reasons limit the sizes of the spacecraft. Therefore, a two-body tethered space system proves more convenient than a single body one, if artificial gravity is needed. In a previous work, a rotating space system of two bodies connected by a viscoelastic tether was studied, based on a simple mechanical model. In the present paper, the model of such a system is improved and some dynamical effects, previously neglected, are assessed.

Keywords: artificial gravity, rotating spacecraft, viscoelastic tether, microgravity effect.


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