|MadSci Network: Medicine|
There has not been much longterm reseacrch so far into this . However the Soviets in the 1970's did some experiments onboard two linked Cosmos vehicles to simulate artificial gravity and found that it was beneficial in preventing the worst excesses of microgravity. For the longterm, in larger structures, much depends upon the rotation rate, in turn depending on the actual size and design of the habitat. Speeds of greater than one rev every 30 seconds are likely to cause dizziness and disorientation. As far as is known cells are unlikely to be distorted nor result in disease provided sufficiently comfortable conditions are provided. A forward sloping floor as well as rotation would be needed if coriolis effects proved important. Architectural design will be important for psychological comfort as much as anything. At any rate the effects on heart, muscle and bone mass, would be greatly reduced in artifical g over long term "zero" g. Of course we do not yet know the minimal necessary g level for prevention of the major effects of zero g. 0.1, 0.3 or 0.5 g may prove quite sufficient to prevent muscle wasting or bone loss - but without a variable g lab in orbit this remains to be discovered.
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