Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"If you turn away from the natural gifts that God has given you, or the universe has given you, you're going to grow old too soon."
- Ray Bradbury

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
Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto

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.





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

Algorithm Predicts Marriage Success (HAL 9000 Will See You Now)
'I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset....'

Denmark Island Earth (Verdenskortet ala Ringworld)
'They wanted to keep something of what they were losing...'

Humai Startup To Implant Your Brain In Robot Body
'The astounded onlookers saw a human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
We're getting there, one launch at a time.

X125 Snake-Arm Inspection Robot Video
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Super-Thin Smart Glazing Displays
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
'Ellis had found a weak point, a shimmer, at which another continuum completely had been visible.'

Active Wellness Smart Car Seat
'Maybe the car was right...'

Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
'...Permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.