Space sports – Sailing and equestrian sports in space
Paper in proceedings, 2019
Sports in space? Is it at all possible to practice sports in our solar system but not on Planet Earth? Mars is our closest neighboring planet, and Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, and apart from the Earth it is the only body in our solar system where a liquid exists on the surface. Within the last ten years a system of lakes and rivers has been discovered. The climate and seasonal cycles of Titan are still not very well known, but the composition and pressure are fairly well established. Perhaps in the future boats will sail the lakes of Titan for research purposes or even sport. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the concept of space sports, looking at sailing on Titan and equestrian sports on Mars. For sailing, the conditions of Titan necessitate calculations of important parameters of sailing such as floatability, stability, hull resistance and sail forces. This paper shows that a sailing yacht on Titan will have twice as large displacement as on Earth and it will be 2.6 times less stable for the same beam. Since friction will be smaller, it will be faster than on Earth at low speed, but significantly slower at high speeds due to the wave generation. The same sail area is required to get the same sail forces if the average wind is 3 m/s, while a 9 times larger sail area is required if the wind speed is only 1 m/s. Equestrian sports on Mars could be a possibility, even if challenges exist in form of a cold climate and thin atmosphere with noxious gases. Due to the lower gravity sports such as show jumping, dressage and races would yield new records and new patterns of locomotion.