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Guest posted a question in Question & Answer.
The rotating ship is simply Hollywood's answer to "Why aren't the actors floating around if they they are in space?" There are several reasons why the ISS does not. First, if you have gravity in a space ship, you are going to need floors that can support the weight of the crew walking around. You would also need carts to push stuff around in. Not only that, but now you only have walls and a ceiling to put all the other equipment. Without gravity, you can attach anything to any surface. and nothing needs to support the weight. Second, centrifugal force is not gravity so there are totally different rules in a spinning ship. Anything that is spinning needs an axis. And the closer you are to the axis, the less "gravity" and more dizzy you will feel. Gravity has fields, centrifugal force does not. So anything not moving along with the rest of the ship will appear to be flying down the hallway. Anyone who has been on "The Gravitron" at the county fair when someone threw up knows what I'm talking about. Basically a spaceship would have to be a perfectly balanced doughnut with one hallway down the outermost point. It would have to be a doughnut because the space in the middle would be pretty useless anyway. It would have a lot of wasted space and extra weight. If everyone gathered together in one place, it would disrupt the balance and change the simulated "weight of different things in other areas of the ship unless it was so massive, that the ship itself made up of 95% of the total weight. It's a fun idea, but a spinning ship is just too dangerous and not practical. It would have to be more on the scale of a space city. Another fun thought that also helps demonstrate the basic science behind the concept.... If the doughnut ship was fairly "small" (I don't know the exact math to figure out the ideal size) and well balanced you would be able to run down the hall in the opposite direction the ship was spinning and then just "fly" the rest of the way to the mass hall. Because once you are running at the same surface speed as the rotation of the floor beneath you, then you are not really moving anymore, and the ship is just spinning around you. You can just hover there, and try to grab the right doorknob as it goes by. Phil McClellan, Life student