Physics – how to prepare for gravity and weightlessness

When on Earth we experience the full force of gravity. However this is a problem if we are trying to prepare for going into space. We need to find ways of simulating weightlessness. Pupils can explore how this is achieved through the “Preparing for space – weightlessness” activity:

Our bodies react in different ways when experiencing forces. When launching into space in their rocket, Astronauts are pushed down into their seats as they take off. If they weren’t wearing special clothing or hadn’t prepared their bodies in a centrifuge then they would pass out. Pupils can find out more about how Astronauts get themselves ready through the “Preparing for space – G-forces” activity:

Once in space and experiencing weightlessness, there are consequences for the human body. The danger is that muscles and bones will waste away. To stop this astronauts will exercise for around 2 hours per day. But to ensure their exercise makes a difference they must find a way to simulate the pull of gravity on their body. Pupils can find out how this works and adapt their own favourite form of exercise for space in the activity “Training in a space – simulating gravity”: