Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Retire? Yeah, I want to die with my head in the typewriter. That's my idea of retirement."
- Alfred Bester

Acceleration Shell  
  A special suit designed to help people survive accelerations of up to twenty-five gravities.  

The basic problem is figuring out how to survive the high acceleration maneuvers that spacecraft are capable of - without dying. Amusement park rides hit a maximum of 4 gravities, which is a lot for untrained riders. Accelerations from 4-6 g's for more than a few seconds produce visual impairments and eventually, blackouts.

Some benefits are provided by anti-g suits, which supply pressure to the abdomen and legs, counteracting the tendency for blood to accumulate in those areas. Proper support of the head is essential during extreme acceleration in order to avoid swelling of the sinuses and severe headaches.

The shell is like a flexible spacesuit; at least the fitting on the inside is pretty similar. But instead of a life support package, there's a hose going up into the top of the helmet and two coming out of the heels, as well as two relief tubes per suit...

When the lights in my helmet showed that everybody was suited up, I pushed the button that flooded the room. No way to see, of course, but I could imagine the pale blue solution - ethylene glycol and something else - foaming up around and over us. The suit material, cool and dry, collapsed in to touch my skin at every point. I knew that my internal body pressure was increasing rapidly to match the increasing fluid pressure outside. That's what the shot was for... By the time my meter said '2' (external pressure equivalent to a column of water two nautical miles deep), I felt that I was at the same time being crushed and bloated...

The major drawback to the system is that, of course, anybody caught outside of his shell when the Anniversary hit 25 gees would be just so much strawberry jam...

From The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman.
Published by Not Known in 1974
Additional resources -

The position of the body is very important; most people will pass out at 2 g's if accelerated in a head-first position. (Physiologists calculate that if the gravity of the earth were increased to 3 standard gravities, most people's hearts would be unable to pump blood all the way up to the brain.) Sideways accelerations of up to 10 g's can be tolerated.

Most of us have seen centrifuges used in training pilots (usually a humorous segment of the movie!), but centrifuging people goes back a long way. The origins of centrifugation date back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Rotating a person by placing him/her along the arm of the centrifuge (which was originally operated manually and later energized by gas power) was believed to be conducive to treating nervous and mental diseases. The first modern human centrifuges were not built until the 1930s.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Forever War
  More Ideas and Technology by Joe Haldeman
  Tech news articles related to The Forever War
  Tech news articles related to works by Joe Haldeman

Articles related to Space Tech
Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
Bigelow's Inflatable BEAM Module Ready For ISS In 2015

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.