1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How constant acceleration affects the tripulation of a spaceship?

  1. Feb 7, 2014 #1
    I appologize for any spelling or grammar errors. Please take into account that English isn't my first language and that I haven't finished my English course yet, since I'm 14 years old.

    My Question (which I suppose is very dumb): Imagine there is a manned spacecraft traveling through deep space accelerating at a constant rate of 1g (10 m/s²). Would the tripulation feel a constant pull towards the back of the ship equivalent to gravity on Earth? Or would they float weightlessly? Why?

    I'm thinking about interstellar travel and I thought that maybe accelerating beyond 1g would be harmful, because the tripulation would experience a strong gravity-like force pulling them towards one end of the ship (the back end, in case the vehicle was accelerating, or the front end, in case it was decelerating).

    The answer and the explanation are probably very obvious, so thanks in advance for anyone taking their time to answer this.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I don't know what "tripulation" means, and a search of the dictionary turned up nothing. However, I assume you are asking whether passengers, whether people or objects, would be weightless or not. The answer is that they would not be weightless. They would be pushed into the back of the ship with an acceleration of about 9.8 m/s2, or 1g.
  4. Feb 7, 2014 #3
    About one hundred years ago Einstein formulated his "equivalence principle". It states that gravity is the same as constant acceleration. So in a ship accelerating at 1 g toward its front, its passengers and objects would feel gravity as if the ship were standing on the Earth its front pointing upward.
  5. Feb 7, 2014 #4
    S(he) meant to say the crew of the ship. The OP's first language is probably either Spanish or Portuguese. The word for crew in Spanish, for instance, is tripulación. In Portuguese it is tripulação.
  6. Feb 7, 2014 #5
    That's exactly what I meant. My first language is indeed Portuguese.

    Thank you all for your answers, the subject is now clear to me. In long manned space trips to distant stars, we are then not only limited in terms of highest speed achievable but also in the highest acceleration tolerable by the human crew.
  7. May 28, 2016 #6
    I like the way you rationalize kid! keep thinking
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted