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An article from the
Science Series


Much of the information on this page was taken from Battlestar Wiki's Gravity in the Re-imagined Series article, which in turn is derived from the Wikipedia article on artificial gravity.
Much of this article has been written from an Out-Of-Character (OOC) Perspective.


File:Synthgravity1.jpg

From what scientists have theorized, gravity could be artificially generated in several ways:

  • Rotation of the spacecraft to generate centrifugal forces within a spacecraft.
This motion would push objects and people in the ship outward, so the outside skin of the ship would act as the "floor". One Colonial ship in fact sometimes uses this form of artificial gravity: the Space Park. The Space Park's design dates from a period when centrifugal force was the main artificial-gravity solution in place, before whatever current technology is in use came into widespread use.
  • Keeping the ship at constant acceleration, with the crew standing in the opposite direction of acceleration.
Same principle that every astronaut experiences as their rocket launches into space and accelerates. This of course means that the ship must get progressively faster for eternity; stabilizing speed would lead to weightlessness, and stopping the ship would send everyone crashing into the ceiling.
  • Place something with a lot of mass within your ship.
This isn't artificial gravity, but the real thing. But there is the matter of the energies required to move your ship, the large gravity well that wants to attract other objects into your ship's general direction, and the shape of your ship. Gravity just works, pulling from every direction, so you would need a round ship to keep from strange changes in gravity aboard a ship. Worst of all, the amount of fuel needed to move a ship with a local mass concentration would be very high.
  • Use tidal forces.
Stretch a tether with a small mass between a large gravity source and the ship you want. Cheap, fuel-free, and reliable. There's the matter of actually being able to travel somewhere besides planetary orbit without losing gravity, however. Several ships from the science-fiction role-playing game series "Xenosaga," particularly the vessels Durandal and Dämmerung, appear to use a concept similar to this with masses rotating around the ship in a controlled orbit maintained by forcefields.
  • Use magnetism.
The term for this is diamagnetism. Based on the technologies we've seen in the Re-imagined Series (such as their use of magnetism for landing and launching Vipers), this principle has the most viability, but is also fraught with huge problems in application.
Everything has a magnetic attraction, but most objects (a human body included) have very little of it. Diamagnetism at the present time has mostly been used to repel two objects, i.e. to levitate one of them, instead of to attract them, as gravity would. Also, high magnetic field concentrations are probably not very healthy in the long term. [1]

Other, less-scientific possibilities that the writers could use include:

  • Simulate gravity with force fields.
The eponymous spaceship in the TV show "Andromeda" uses "gravity generators". The Star Trek universe has a similar concept. This seems to be a slap in the face of the realistic SF ethos since it has no basis in scientific plausibilty at present.
  • Spacetime manipulation.
The ability to do Faster Than Light travel indicates the Colonials have the advanced technology to manipulate the fabric of spacetime. This same ability might be harnessed to provide artificial gravitation. However, Galactica's FTL drives are often inactive on the show (they're inactive until they're "spun up"), while the gravity is always on.

So far the concept of artificial gravity in the show has yet to be explained.

What about the flight pods on the Mercury-class?Edit

Unlike a Colonial-class's, each flight pod on the advanced Mercury-class battlestar are divided along its length into two landing bays. Vipers fly inverted (relative to the battlestar) and land in some of the bays "upside down." Is artificial gravity to be credited with this?

The answer is more likely magnetism. Vipers are launched with a magnetic catapult, and can magnetically mate using their landing skids to a metal surface. Like gravity, magnetism works in any direction, and takes little to maintain. Reinforcing this are the combat landings done by Vipers. The fighters bounce very noticeably at high speeds but, unlike a rock skipping across a pond, the Viper bounces less ballistically, suggesting that a weaker force than normal gravity is at work. How the Vipers get from the upside-down flight deck to the right-side-up hangar deck, however, is unknown.

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