In the 2004 Battestar Galactica, there is a civilian ship called the Zephyr that has a rotating ring section. This is one of the known methods for creating artificial gravity in space:


But Battlestar has artificial gravity in place in other ships in universe; people walk on the ground normally on Galactica and Colonial One, which are both rather linear ships. There are even two cannon references to gravity controls. So, given they have some ability to generate artificial gravity in space ships, why would the Zephyr have the rotating ring design?

  • 2
    Perhaps the ship was old enough to pre-date artificial gravity? Or perhaps the grav field has a steep gradient - it works at human scale but trees can't grow in it.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 19:55
  • 1
    @DavidW Cloud9 had indoor trees despite also having a flat layout.
    – Zags
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 20:01
  • "Its enormous ring section was designed in the days when artificial gravity was too expensive to utilize on a commercial ship of that size." according to the fan-written Wiki. I stand ready to downvote anyone who posts this without offering any supporting evidence
    – Valorum
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 21:51
  • Because spinning is so much cooler than not spinning. Oh sorry, wrong franchise.
    – Tronman
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


The Science of Battlestar Galactica books (billed as the "official guide to the science behind the Battlestar Galactica universe") discusses this in some detail. The implication is that the ship is either sufficiently old that it needed to generate gravity the old-fashioned way...

Obviously Galactica docs not spin to simulate gravity, but a ship named Zephyr does. Zephyr, also known as the "Ring Ship" is one of the most prominent ships in the ragtag fleet. Zephyr seems to be quite the oddity within the Fleet, apparently being the only ship that creates artificial gravity in this way. This could imply that Zephyr is very old.

...or the ship is rather newer, but of an older design, intended to cash in on nostalgia.

..but if that's the case then her FTL drive would have had to have been a retrofit. Perhaps, like a Chrysler PT Cruiser, the inner workings of the spacecraft are modern, but she has a "retro" exterior; "Come experience what space travel was like for our Kobolian ancestors!" Zephyr just may be a Colonial manifestation of steampunk.

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