How Much Speed Can the Human Body Take?

Is there a speed that would harm humans? There are a bunch of human speed records that are going to be broken in the coming decades as we develop the technology to travel thousands of miles in minutes by land, send commercial flights into low-earth orbit, and attempt to get humans to Mars. So with all of these possibilities on the horizon, a question you might be asking yourself is “how fast is too fast?”

Well, first of all, wherever you are, no matter what you are doing, you are traveling nearly 67,000 mph around the sun. It just doesn’t feel that way because the Earth, and therefore humans, have been traveling at that constant rate for, well, you know, kind of a while. We can actually survive any speed, as long as it remains constant. It’s when acceleration enters the equation that things can get pretty tricky. In fact, if you accelerate at a high enough rate, you will pass out and very possibly die.

This is because of what happens to the human body when it experiences g-force, or the unit of measure for acceleration. It’s based on Earth’s gravitational pull. One “G” is the force applied to an object by gravity while on the Earth’s surface. It’s also the force that determines how much we weigh. So, simply put, if a human experiences three Gs, they experience a force on their bodies that is three times their weight.

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