Just a few random thoughts that I can’t quite put together.
I’ve been trying to come up with a justification for building classic O’Neill cylinders and larger space habitats in settings with
A:) Practical widespread fusion power.
B:) Artificial gravity.
and I think I’ve figured it out.
but first a refresher for anyone who needs one.
Megastructures Rotating Habitants By Issac Arthur [31mins]
Well worth your time if you’re a classic Sci-fi fan.
Sci-fi technology like fantasy magic is most interesting when there are limitations on it.
So what sort of limitations make sense for artificial gravity?
The two I can think of off of the top of my head are high power use and the need to periodically shut down the generator for maintenance.
Power use is a non-issue. Particularly on a warship which needs to have large reactors anyway. Shutting down the gravity generators for a short maintenance cycle can be annoying but shouldn’t be an issue for a crew with basic Zero-G training. Besides a ship would usually be doing this sort of overhaul while docked at a repair yard and could therefore be using the shipyards artificial gravity rather than the shipboard systems.
As for space stations, crew even barely trained conscript workers are going to be able to handle a period of Zero-G (especially if maintenance is done on a regular schedule.)
But who wouldn’t handle a period of weightlessness that well?
Small children and animals.
Imagine this but with COWS instead of frogs.
Large livestock in zero gravity is going to be a very bad thing.
So any space habitat large enough to have a permanent population or onboard agriculture is therefore going to have a real incentive to go with a ‘low tech’ spin based gravity system rather the normal gravity generators.
Although combining the systems is also an option since the spin gravity doesn’t need to be a full G as it’s only purpose to hold things down while the artificial gravity generators are being serviced.