Chapter I

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?  It hath already of old time, which was before us.

- Ecclesiastes, I:10

There is nothing new except what is forgotten.

- Mademoiselle Bertin

In analyzing history do not be too profound, for often the causes are quite superficial.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speculations on space travel are nearly as old as astronomy itself, and have necessarily suggested various concepts of gravity.  Ley [1], and von Braun, Ordway, and Dooling [2] provide comprehensive accounts of the theory, philosophy, and technology of extraterrestrial travel, from Babylon to Spacelab.  Logsdon and Butler [3] summarize the development of twentieth century space station concepts.  McDougall [4] traces the political forces that have shaped official space policy.  Numerous other books and articles from the past century speak for themselves.

This chapter distills a history of artificial gravity from the aforementioned works.  The selected references are representative, not exhaustive.  The volume of literature pertaining to space habitation is overwhelming - each source points to several others in an exponential growth of reference material.  Artificial gravity - the focus of this dissertation - is but one facet of space habitat design.  Other facets are discussed only to the extent necessary to put artificial gravity in context.  To fully understand the problem it poses, one must be aware of the basis of its conception, the proposed design solutions, and the reasons why those designs have never been executed.