->'''Lt. Ford:''' It's strange not pulling any G-s.\\
'''Maj. Sheppard:''' Yeah... Kinda miss it. Although at this rate of acceleration, we'd be dead by now.\\
'''Lt. Ford:''' Yeah?\\
'''Maj. Sheppard:''' Oh yeah. Without inertial dampening, we'd be hit by so many G-s, [[EyeScream our eyes would pop]], [[CruelAndUnusualDeath the skin would pull away from our faces, our brains would squish up to the back of our skulls, and our internal organs would be crushed into these chairs]]. What about that sandwich? ''[calmly glances at Ford, who is now looking a little green]''
-->--''Series/StargateAtlantis''

Inertial Dampening (or "Damping", if you prefer your inertia dry) is a piece of AppliedPhlebotinum, designed to allow humans to accelerate and decelerate at high rates without becoming humorously colored paste on the walls. [[note]] In RealLife, "inertia dampers" refer only to devices or processes which remove the ''effects'' of inertia, not the inertia itself (seeing as how the latter is impossible according to the currently-understood laws of physics). Many of the examples on this page would thus be more correctly referred to as "inertial ''negation''"[[/note]]

Its intention is to "take away" inertial effects; i.e., when accelerating, you are not pressed back into your seat (or liquefied and wedged into your seat.) For the most part, it's an invisible seatbelt substitute for crew and cargo.

Sometimes Inertial Dampening has a "lag", where a sharp turn or quick deceleration will momentarily cause a reaction (quick fall into the console or press back due to high accelerations).

Inertial Dampening is generally ''not'' TimTaylorTechnology. An overloading IDF [Inertial Dampening Field] has the opposite effect of most AppliedPhlebotinum, causing a greater inertial effect, usually culminating in a StarTrekShake. Generally, however, the StarTrekShake has no relation to the ''direction'' of inertia; i.e., the ship is traveling forward, but the crew feels a right-to-left effect.Though often left unmentioned, InertialDampening is a [[RequiredSecondaryPowers requisite side-technology]] to any spaceship that can turn or accelerate more quickly than a fighter jet. It's also the reason why TheBridge has NoSeatBelts. Note that the physical HandWave that accompanies many forms of FasterThanLightTravel dictate that the ship does not accelerate in the traditional Newtonian or, for that matter, Einsteinian fashion, and so the inertial dampener is mostly for maneuvering and orbit changes.

In [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard]] SciFi, especially written but occasionally not, a more realistic method is used to cushion acceleration shock. Immersion in a fluid equal in density to the body would theoretically cause buoyancy forces to act counter to any accelerations; this is sometimes coupled with [[HumanPopsicle cryonics]]. Some method to allow the subject to continue to breathe in the fluid would be required, be it oxygenated liquids or a circulatory gas-exchange system. Since people riding around in bathtubs are not interesting on-screen (except from a voyeur's point-of-view) this has only rarely trickled down to the big and small screens; the exploration ship ''Lewis and Clark'' in ''Film/EventHorizon'' and presumably the cryonics pods in the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series are the exceptions.

See also ArtificialGravity.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', the LCL fluid filling the Eva units' cockpits protects the pilots from the G-forces involved in piloting a HumongousMecha -- among other things.
* Averted in ''StarshipOperators''. All the crews need to strap themselves in before acceleration, and acceleration ranges to at most around 10g for some ships. [[spoiler:Played a bit straight later when Amaterasu fights 5 Kingdom ships. Shinon devise a plan to quickly turn the ship to fire on enemies, and generate this effect by using its own warp drive to create gravity field that will protect its crew. It does protect its crew, but results in several decks wrecked, antimatter container being cracked, and several other massive damages on the ship. Quite a suicide tactic, actually]].
* Barely addressed in ''CodeGeass''. The flying {{Humongous Mecha}}s do sharp U-turns at velocities that would turn the pilot into paste all over the cockpit's walls (and probably dismantle the mechas themselves).
* All too present in {{Macross}} series' SchematizedProp. Not only the system dampens inertia, it converts it into storable energy required for transformation. It isn't perfect though: safety limiters are installed on the fighters preventing them from pulling maneuvers that would kill the pilot, even though the plane itself is fully capable of it. Cyborg or computer-piloted craft don't have those limiters, since extreme G-forces are less of an issue for them.
* Averted in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' all over the place. The WorldBuilding specifically comments that the facilities for sending people into space are slower than the ones used to transport objects because humans can't tolerate that level of [=Gs=]. In two separate series (''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]''), TheRival uses a machine that is incredibly fast but has little to no safety features in order to keep up with the Gundams; both pilots end up exhibiting BloodFromTheMouth, and in ''Wing'', we even see the Rival black out and suffer a heart attack from the stresses involved, despite being young and healthy.
* Averted in ''Manga/KnightsOfSidonia''. When the gigantic titular ship needs to make sudden evasive maneuvers, they precede it with an EmergencyBroadcast first. Even with this warning giving them time to prepare, massive damage results and many die.
* Mentioned in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' as being necessary for Academy City's fighters and bombers: the aircraft are capable of absolutely ''insane'' maneuvers (their top speed is in excess of Mach 7), and the pilots are cryogenically frozen to protect their bodies. They're still conscious however, and controlling the planes mentally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Averted: In the {{Tintin}} adventures ''Recap/TintinDestinationMoon'' and ''Recap/TintinExplorersOnTheMoon'', the crew of the Moon-Rocket faints from the pressures caused by take-off and landing.
* DependingOnTheWriter, this is often the reason why IronMan can suddenly rocket off, take huge punches, fall from orbit and just crawl out of the crater. Other times it is simply {{Hand Wave}}d.
* One of DonRosa's [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Scrooge [=McDuck=] ]] stories had the Beagle Boys get their hands on a raygun that "completely" removed inertia from objects (really having none at all would be a bizarre idea, but it was cut down to minimum so that anything short of air resistance would instantly stop the object's movement), as well as one that removed "all" friction. The results were interesting to say the least.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/TheOpenDoor'': "A ship can't pull 10,000 Gs without some form of inertial compensation."
* ''Fanfic/RedFireRedPlanet'': Brokosh mentions keeping the dampers set a little low on the bridge of the IKS ''mupwI[='=]'', "just enough to let some g-forces through so Meromi could feel the ship, not enough to turn everyone into blood pie."
* ''Fanfic/TheHeadhunt'' shows the result of an inertial dampener failure when the USS ''Bajor'' sends a BoardingParty over and discovers every surface on the bridge [[LudicrousGibs covered in a lumpy, reddish goo]].
--> '''Lieutenant Kate [=McMillan=]:''' Where the hell is the crew? And what the hell is ''this'' shit?\\
'''Nameless security guy:''' L.T., this shit ''is'' the crew.\\
'''[=McMillan=]:''' ''([[VomitingCop throws up all over a console]])''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The classic sci-fi movie ''ForbiddenPlanet'' offered one of the earliest examples of this trope. In the beginning when the ship decelerates, we see the crew climb into strange booths which presumably neutralize their inertia.
** Likewise ''Film/ThisIslandEarth''.
** It's not certain that inertia is the issue in ''Forbidden Planet''. The spacecraft is "decelerating" from its {{FTL}} cruising speed to the sub-light speeds it'll need to rendezvous with (and eventually land on) the destination planet. The crew had to do ''something'' involving those booths to survive the process, but whether this was due to plain old high G forces or to some completely weird effect of their FTL technology is never made clear.
* Inertial dampening seems to be built into the protective bubble surrounding the makeshift spacecraft in ''Film/{{Explorers}}''. In small words, "you don't get squished."
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'': When the Eagle 5 comes out of "hyperactive", we see that Vespa's luggage is strewn about all over the place (of course, a crash landing will also do that, but the hyperdrive probably helped). Of course, we've just been exposed to the reason why you should buckle up in Ludicrous Speed. Smoke em if you've got em!
** Also subverted when coming out of ludicrous speed causes Dark Helmet to fly across the bridge and crash into the front of the ship.
** And played straight, in that they were completely uninjured. Either that, or Ludicrous Speed is somewhat slower than cars normally move. Perhaps the InertialDampening is only 99.999999% effective.
* The 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film has Sulu as helmsman forgetting to turn InertialDampening off. It's PlayedForLaughs (Pike asks about the parking brake; Sulu realizes it's a joke but doesn't get the connection, and Spock asks if he disengaged the external inertial dampers). [[spoiler:And then you get a little MoodWhiplash, because ''Enterprise'' being late to the party is the reason it isn't one of the destroyed Federation saucers you see floating around at the destination...]]
* In ''Film/{{Alien}}'', as the Nostromo is landing, Dallas warns the crew that the inertial damping is switching off and they should be prepared for "a little jolt". Turns out to be no so little...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the StarWarsExpandedUniverse novels, fighter pilots often "dial down" their ships' inertial dampening fields in order to better feel the weight and pull of their machines. The official reason for Jek Porkins' dying when he did in ''ANewHope'' was that he liked keeping his dampener on full and literally couldn't feel that he wasn't holding.
** In later books, they use their dampers to counter the gravity manipulating dovin basals that the enemy was using as shields, propulsion, and to kill ''their'' shields, effectively making them shields for the shields.
** Also from the expanded universe, it is revealed that IG-88 always has his ship's dampeners off, since (being a robot) he doesn't need them. This allows him to perform maneuvers that would otherwise kill an organic being, often giving him the edge.
* Taken to the logical extreme in Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' novels, where entire spaceships, including their contents, are rendered inertialess. The consequences of this technology are explored in great detail.
** Perhaps the most interesting consequence is that the technology does not remove inertia, but rather suspends it. When the inertialess drive is shut down you have exactly the same inertia you had when you turned it on. If you neglect to shut off your inertialess drive and match velocities with your destination, heaven help you. Your restored inertia will either fling you into space at thousands of miles an hour, or fling you into the GROUND at thousands of miles an hour.
** Moreover, inertialess drive technology allows Doc Smith to Justify using SpaceFriction. If an inertialess ship collides with a particle of interstellar hydrogen it comes to a screeching halt because the hydrogen ion has inertia and the ship doesn't. Therefore, Doc Smith spacecraft must keep up continuous thrust to move while inertialess, and their speed is directly related to the power of their engines because the faster they go the more friction they encounter from interstellar dust and gas. Speeds eventually reach the point where the fastest ships have to be teardrop shaped for streamlining.
** Reducing your space ship's inertial mass to 0 also means you no longer have to worry about it becoming infinite as you approach light speed. This is, in fact, how ships in the Lensmen universe accomplish FasterThanLightTravel.
** Spoofed in ''Backstage Lensmen'', a parody by Creator/RandallGarrett.
-->Unfortunately, the Bergenholm, while it could completely neutralize inertial mass, never quite knew what to do with gravitational mass, which seems to come and go as the circumstances require.
** ''Triplanetary'' also features the immersion version; a covert agent uses an acceleration tank to enable his insertion by means of a cargo transport which accelerates too hard for an unprotected human to survive.
* In the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' stories (and others by David Weber), inertial sinks (called "inertial compensators" in the Honorverse) are required to deal with, by "absorbing" the inertia otherwise generated, the ridiculously high accelerations ships can generate. Failure of the system, either through combat or sabotage, is considered terrifying by crews as undergoing 300 or more Earth gravities of acceleration instantaneously turns people into chunky salsa.
** Weber makes a point of describing this effect at least once in any book which involves space combat or high system-stress situations (basically all of them). The best was "Turning the entire crew into something vaguely resembling tuna paste."
** One actually does fail in "Honor Among Enemies". We don't actually get to see what it's like aboard, although when Honor sends a crew to salvage what they can from the ship in question, she tries not to think about their working conditions.
** In the BackStory, one of Queen Elizabeth III's ancestors was killed when the inertial dampener on her ship failed. The circumstances behind the incident were... suspicious, [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident to say the least]].
* The later books of the ''RendezvousWithRama'' series have the immersion version of this trope. In an interesting twist, the characters at first don't realize just what the hell the tanks are for and have to be herded into them at quite literally the last minute by the ship's robotic crew.
* The novel ''TheForeverWar'', uses the immersion in a fluid method. Since the spaceships tend to change velocity at high speeds, support for internal organs is needed as well. This is accomplished by injecting the characters with special substances and placing them in special suits, wherein they are then surrounded by extremely high pressure fluid, equal to several kilometers underwater. The results of the pressure failing are not pleasant.
* Adamist spacecraft in Peter F Hamilton's ''NightsDawnTrilogy'' do not have any sort of Inertial Damping system at all. The crew lie on acceleration couches, which help cushion their body from the g-forces produced by combat maneuvers. If the acceleration climbs too high, the crews have to put the the ship on autopilot go into stasis.
** Edenist ships with their fine control of gravity field generation can provide a sort of counter-acceleration force of up to a few gees, letting their crew perform better than Adamist ships at moderate acceleration but ultimately requiring the same sort of suspended animation devices to use excessive acceleration.
* Used better than most in Creator/AlastairReynolds' ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Redemption Ark]]'' as both a means of speeding up the usual slower-than-light starships (achieving this by accelerating at 1g for years at a time) and [[spoiler: attempting to travel faster than light]]. Unfortunately for the crews, these inertial dampers effect ''all'' matter within the field - ship, crew, crew's blood - making it almost a requirement that ships either keep part of the ship outside the field for the crew to live in (under all 10 Gs worth of acceleration) or going the whole hog and putting everybody in cryostasis, though one character with full-body cybernetics is able to stay up and about. [[spoiler: The FTL, on the other hand, is even worse, being nigh-impossible to get working, and an accident can get you ''edited out of existence''. This is implied to have happened to most of the species that tried to do it.]]
** Not to mention the fact that while the dampers were being developed it had a nasty habit of negating technicians' inertia and flinging them against the wall at kilometres ''per second''. Nothing was left but the proverbial (and in this case literal) thin red paste covering the wall.
** Also averted a lot in the RS novels: Boris is killed when the ship's thrust is put into reverse and he goes flying into the ceiling at 10G. Likewise Morwenna is turned into red jelly when Quaiche's ship races off under extreme acceleration. Ultra suits fill up with 'gel-air' to protect their occupants from vicious accelerations.
* The fluid immersion type of damping is used in Ben Bova's novel ''Jupiter'' to counteract the planet's high gravity.
* In the ''{{Halo}}'' novel ''Ghosts of Onyx'' this is actually a plot point at one point. Dr. Halsey takes an unconscious Kelly (a SPARTAN) and commandeers a ship for them. Unfortunately, Halsey does not have armor like Kelly and ends up nearly dying from the effects of their taking off since she didn't have time to reinstall the ship's inertia dampening system. Halsey is fine, but in rough shape for a while.
* In MichaelCrichton's ''{{Sphere}}'' (At least the book, possibly the movie too) the spaceship discovered at the bottom of the ocean features water-filled chair systems to help counteract high g-forces.
* {{Justified|Trope}} in Creator/AlanDeanFoster[='=]s ''HumanxCommonwealth'' series by the unique method of [[FasterThanLightTravel FTL propulsion]]. The ship generates an artificial gravity field ahead of it, to which the ship is then attracted. This motion pushes the field further in front of the ship, which pulls it forward, and so forth. (How this removes the problem of Newton's Third Law is [[HandWave left unstated]].) Since this force acts equally on all parts of the ship, including the crew, there's no ''differential'' of acceleration and therefore no issue with G forces splattering everyone. A variant use of the drive provides the sensation of gravity so the crew can walk around, and combat vessels use a more sophisticated version of it to provide real InertialDampening for combat situations. When the drive is shut off or damaged, the ship and its crew are truly in free fall and normal rules of inertia apply.
* ''Literature/{{Endymion}}'' plays with this in the most {{Squick}}y way possible. A ship is developed that can go at extreme speeds without the use of the, now lost, hyperspace gates. As a result the acceleration kills the pilot and copilot instantly then collects their liquefied remains in a little dish to be rebuilt later. [[spoiler: The whole thing is a lie, but knowledge of this trope is why people buy it]].
* This is standard (and indeed essential) technology in the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe, where starships routinely feature acceleration rates of hundreds of kilometers per second squared (or in other words, tens of thousands of Gs). A portable device is installed on the protagonists' original rocketship as early as their impending return to Earth from the moon, in order to protect the ill alien scientist that they're also taking along.
* In SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/ALordFromPlanetEarth'' trilogy, all HumanAliens (there are no StarfishAliens in that universe) use black spheres of AppliedPhlebotinum that absorb extra G-forces by increasing in density. The catch is the crew then has to spend weeks to months in higher-than-normal gravity, while the spheres "give back" the absorbed gravity (the "give back" is usually set to 1.5g). An alternative is to jettison the dense spheres. This is the last resort, as the spheres are expensive. Also, their gravity field can cause them to become a navigational hazard. A ship may have several dozen of these devices onboard.
** This is [[{{Precursors}} Seeder]] technology, though, so nobody quite understands how it works. Of course, the Seeders are actually [[spoiler:22nd century humans who have seeded the galaxy with alien life using time-traveling probes in order to create an instant (from their viewpoint) army for an intergalactic war]].
* ''Literature/StarTrekFederation'' (which was written well before ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'') has Zefram Cochrane's first FTL trip taking the better part of a year, even though he only spent a few weeks actually going FTL, the rest of the time was used for accelerating and decelerating since inertial dampening hadn't been discovered yet. Upon returning to the solar system (specifically the moon Titan) he's told that the book's BigBad has recently left Earth headed to Titan, and he has only 2-3 days to escape, which confuses him since, as he states, even using fluid tubes to cushion the inertia no human could survive the acceleration needed to make the trip that fast. Turns out the guy had stolen a ship equipped with the first prototype of an inertial dampening system. On a later return to Earth, he rides in a hover limo with inertial dampeners, and later [[CoolShip travels on a sublight spacecraft whose only means of propulsion is inertial control]].
--> "Inertial control!" Sir John boomed out delightedly, tapping his cane on the floor. "I still say it's impossible, but, by God, it's exceedingly useful."
** ''Federation'' also plays with the structural integrity field (see under Live Action TV) by having Picard come up with a tactic where they transfer all power to it, reinforcing the hull to the point where it slices straight through a Romulan ship like a hot knife through butter--RammingAlwaysWorks, indeed. There are hasty justifications for the text as to why [[ItOnlyWorksOnce this would only work in this very specific scenario]] and would normally cause the warp core to explode.
* Any Creator/IainBanks Sci-Fi book the rules of physics are always played straight. In the cases where the characters are [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] and they're travelling in a Mind-operated starship, especially in [=GSVs=] where there are so many layers of forcefields and acceleration adjustments for upcoming ships trying to reach them at great velocities that they don't actually ''have'' a physical hull. In the case of ''The Algebraist'', where the societies were more primitive and didn't yet have this technology, there were special measures taken to protect any creature travelling at any acceleration rate, with at one point the main character having to be restrained and insulated when the ship he was in was travelling at 20+ Gs. Military spacecraft crew battle stations are in gel-filled gimballed spheres to best allow them to remain conscious and functional under rapidly fluctuating acceleration vectors.
** Another example from ''The Algebraist'' is with the humanoid Divers who enter the inner layers of gas giants to converse with their denizens. They have to be completely encased and filled with a special gel-fluid within a specialised pod in order to survive the extreme gravity and environment changes.
* In Creator/HarryHarrison's AlternateHistory novel ''TunnelThroughTheDeeps'' (AKA ''A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!''), Augustine Washington's helicopter is sabotaged, preventing him from getting from the Atlantic colony (US where the revolution failed) to the heart of the British Empire in time to meet the Queen. A man approaches him and offers to test a new method of rapid intercontinental travel. They submerge Washington (with a breathing apparatus) into a fluid-filled rocket that is launched in a ballistic trajectory, allowing him to safely get from America to Britain in a few hours. The best part is that all calculations were done using a ''mechanical computer''.
* Averted in Creator/CJCherryh's ''Literature/AllianceUnion'' series. In addition to its primary purpose of traveling through hyperspace, a starship's FTL drive can be used to make instantaneous changes in velocity. Since this involves no acceleration, a starship can quickly achieve relativistic velocities without having to worry about inertia.
* For all its hardness, Poul Anderson's ''Literature/TauZero'' does have inertial dampening technology. It only works when travelling very close to the speed of light, though, so the heroes' {{ramscoop}} has to accelerate at a measly 1''g'' for the first year of its journey.
* The "balanced drive" in Charles Sheffield's [=McAndrew=] stories uses a flat plate of superdense matter at the front of the ship, with the crew pod trailing behind at just the right distance so that acceleration g-forces in one direction and the plate's gravity in the other add up to a comfortable 1g. This form of inertial dampening works ''without'' bending any of the known laws of physics -- it merely requires solutions to the [[SarcasmMode slight]] engineering problems involved in making the superdense plate, keeping it compressed, and accelerating its immense mass.
* ''Literature/{{Lacuna}}'' plays this straight with their gravity generating drives, which are also used as inertial dampeners in the ship. Strong movements can still be felt however.
* In Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' stories, it is often (correctly) pointed out that the crew of a starship only has to worry about inertia when they are accelerating or decelerating. For such times, the ships use artificial gravity to reduce the effects of high acceleration (massively high acceleration in some cases; for example, at one point in the short story "Flatlander", the starship ''Slower Than Infinity" is accelerating at nearly 200 gravities).
* Averted in ''StarCarrier'' but justified by the ubiquitous use of gravity projection drives that make inertial dampers unnecessary. Specifically, a SpaceFighter accelerates and maneuvers by projecting a tiny singularity in the appropriate direction and allowing the craft to fall towards it, with the "bootstrap" system "winking out" and re-projecting the singularity further ahead multiple times a second (should the "bootstrap" fail, the fighter would be consumed by its own projected singularity). Since the gravity forces acting are the same on the entire ship, including the pilot, the pilot only experiences the feeling of free-fall. A [=StarHawk=]'s singularity drive is capable of accelerating the fighter to 99% of the speed of light in about ''10 minutes'' without the pilot feeling it. Turning is done by projecting the singularity to the side and "whipping" around the warped space. Since the craft isn't "technically" turning, the pilot still doesn't feel any g-forces. Capital ships also use the same system but can't accelerate as fast due to all the extra mass. They do use the singularity drives to accelerate them to near-c speeds, allowing the relativistic mass to be used to engage the Alcubierre drives for FTL travel. Interestingly, at the start of the first book, the author specifically states that large capital ships are unable to use singularity drives due to the size making the gravity forces affect different parts of it in varying degrees. This is later dropped when the author realized that this leaves the capital ships no way to accelerate or maneuver.
* All ships in ''TheLostFleet'' use inertial dampers to accelerate and maneuver. Since ships in this 'verse maneuver like a cross between a naval warship and a jet fighter, inertial dampers are a must. Most maneuvering during battles is done at 10% of the speed of light. Any faster, and the ships' targetting systems would be unable to properly calculate the paths of their targets. The presence of inertial dampers and FTL travel are the only things keeping the setting from being a true hard sci-fi.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' has "GFG Lenses" (Gravity Field Generator) that reduce the ship's ''effective'' mass down to about 1 kg. This helps to explain the quick flip-abouts that the rather large ''Andromeda Ascendant'' seems capable of.
** One episode has the ''Eureka Maru'' stuck in a mine shaft of sorts. They end up literally getting out and pushing the ship after reducing the ship's effective mass to almost nothing.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Minbari and Centauri combine this with {{Reactionless Drive}}s. Their gravitic drives move ships around without thrusters and generate artificial gravity and Inertial dampening while they are at it. Humans have to use rotating ship sections which make ship quite cumbersome and provide weak point to shoot at. Narn in the other hand just strap themselves into their seats when going into action.
*** Humans too. The rotating sections aren't there for inertial dampening, they're there to extend range: the Human body grows weaker the more time it's in absence of gravity, real or otherwise, and the rotation (present also in most space stations, including the titular one) is a way to counter this.
** The key reason Earth Alliance agrees to join the new Interstellar Alliance is the promise of this technology. As a result, new human ships are now much faster and much more maneuverable. In fact, the new ''Warlock''-class destroyers (which use ArtificialGravity instead of rotating sections) are supposed to be a one-to-one match against the dreaded Minbari ''Sharlin''-class warcruisers.
* In a rare non-spaceship example from ''Series/DoctorWho'' the brakes on the Doctor's CoolCar Bessie apparently work by "absorbing inertia, even yours."
* ''{{Firefly}}'' offers a possibly non-canon explanation of its systems in the paper RPG sourcebook. Included is a unified generator system coupled directly to the reactor (back in the "bulb") that provides ArtificialGravity, nullifies the ship's weight, and absorbs the inertia of the crew. Also, there's a mass-neutralizing drive that serves as a slower-than-light warp engine.
* It's assumed by some that the "Passive Laser Restraint System" on ''KnightRider'''s KITT is some sort of system of this nature, but it remains unexplained.
* ''Series/StargateSG1''
** When Carter and O'Neil prepare to test the X-302 fighter, they run through a checklist. The following exchange takes place.
---> '''Carter:''' Inertial dampers?\\
'''O'Neil:''' Cool. And check.\\
''[shortly thereafter]''\\
'''O'Neil:''' Phasers?\\
'''Carter:''' Sorry, sir.
** Also shown in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', when Shepard is in a [[OldSchoolDogfight dogfight]] '''IN SPACE''' with [=McKay=] onboard. After feeling the G's from a few hard turns, he asks 'I thought these things had inertial dampers on them'. Apparently they do, but considering how many sudden changes in acceleration are involved in dogfighting, it probably takes a bit to catch up.
** There was also the time Sheppard intentionally accelerated a starship ''without'' the inertial dampers activated, because he was the only one who could fly the ship, but was being held hostage by people who wanted it. He was sitting down, but they were standing up, and were sent flying.
--->'''Sheppard''': "What you said was: 'Fire up the engines.' [[LiteralGenie What you should have said was]]: 'Turn on the inertial dampers.'"
** The Puddle Jumpers are also 10,000 years old. It's possible the inertial dampers aren't at peak operating condition, probably having missed a few state inspections.
** In the episode where O'Neill becomes a teenager (ItMakesSenseInContext), he is scheduled to give Air Force pilots a presentation in dogfighting Goa'uld Death Gliders using F-[=302s=]. He points out that the inertial dampers only compensate about 90% of the acceleration during tight maneuvers, especially during a climb.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', as usual, is one of the few SciFi settings to provide even a weak explanation. The IDF is tied in to the gravity generators, and applies a G-force opposite what the crew would feel, cancelling it out. The system takes inputs from the engines, so forces from acceleration are accounted for in real-time, but external forces can't be predicted, thus the StarTrekShake. A similar system, the structural integrity field, is a HandWave on how such wimpy-looking structures hold up to the incredible forces involved; the ship is held up mostly by forcefields. One of the technical manuals comments that if the ships didn't have inertial damping, the crew would be instantly turned into chunky salsa when the ship accelerates.
** Which was then demonstrated in an ExpandedUniverse novel - a 22nd-century ship was hit with a massive force that blew the dampeners and pulverized the entire crew (and any object not welded solidly to the bulkheads) into an organic paste about 1 inch thick.
** Also demonstrated in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "The Ship". The entire Jem'hadar crew of a Dominion ship was killed when a failing intertial dampener caused every bone in their body to shatter during acceleration. [[spoiler:A changeling managed to survive due to lacking any organs that could be ruptured]].
* ''{{UFO}}''. The LittleGreenMen palor of the alien attackers is due to the green liquid filling their spacesuits, which cushions their bodies during months of faster-than-light travel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Averted in the roleplaying game ''JovianChronicles''. Most ships in the setting are actually built with their decks vertically arranged so that the g-force of acceleration (or deceleration for the second half of the trip) simulates gravity. (not unlike ''{{Tintin}}''[='s=] rocket)
* Necron ships in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} use inertialess drives. How they work is never really explained but they allow their ships to reach superluminar speeds without the use of warpdrives, apparently by enabling them to instantly and massively accelerate. Apparently the technology needed to build such engines is incredibly advanced and far beyond the reach of any of the other factions.
* Gravitic Compensators in ''{{GURPS}}: Spaceships'' negate 99% of the force of acceleration, which is good for empires with extremely powerful engines because ''GURPS'' [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything accounts for the effect of extreme changes in speed on characters]].
* The standard Ion Drive engines in ''{{Starfire}}'' can bring a ship from a dead stop to 1/10 of light speed instantly, and stop the ship again just as quickly. Presumably, they suspend the ship's inertia in a manner similar to the Inertialess Drive of the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series, except that the ship and all aboard it still behave in an inertial manner while they're at speed.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', a prototype weapon has these as a safety feature. They are called "kinetic bleeders"
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'''s heroine has these built into her legs, as a justification for her being completely immune to falling damage (which would be quite a pain in such a game).
* ''Metal Gear Peace Walker'' has this for Metal Gear Zeke who's cockpit fills with water for this purpose.
* In the computer game ''{{Anachronox}}'', you can read a bit of background that talks about the discovery of Anachronox and when a ship entered into an area that sped them up to faster than light speeds and when they stopped at a point far across the galaxy, they ''would'' have been amazed, except for the fact that intertial dampers hadn't yet been invented and so they ended up as messy spots on the wall. The next ship to enter ''did'' have inertial dampers and was just fine.
* The reason the pilot capsules in EVEOnline are filled with liquid is partly because it reduces inertia and partly because it allows the pilot to better mindlink with the ship (as the capsule is essentially a sensory deprivation tank).
* One of many components in your fighter, in the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' series, that can fail as you take damage, though the games don't model any actual effects of its loss other than ''any'' collision being fatal. In [[Literature/WingCommander the novels]], it's noted to be fast, but not instantaneous.
* In ''SwordOfTheStars'', the Liir use a specialized drive to prevent inertia -- since their ships are filled with liquid and are a lot heavier than those of land-based species, they use a drive called 'stutterwarp' that performs millions of short-range (in the range of millimetre-long) teleportations per second, slowly driving their ships in a direction without causing inertia.
** Then again, they're already submerged, so it wouldn't affect them as much as it would the other races.
** [[LizardFolk Tarka]] ships, especially late in the game, are able to pull off high-G maneuvers thanks to adapting their hyperdrive technology for STL propulsion and maneuvering.
** The Liir only use 'stutterwarp' to "move" (technically, at any given point, the ship is at rest relative to the surrounding space) forward. Turning still requries the use of thrusters. Additionally, if the 'stutterwarp' drive is destroyed, Liir ships can still use their thrusters for limited acceleration.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' avoids this trope handily. Using the eponymous technology, ships engines form a field that changes the mass of everything within it, allowing travel at light speed, while everything within stays still because of its relative mass within the field. Of course, this doesn't change what happens when a ship is struck by projectiles.
** It should be pointed out that, in the case of dreadnoughts, the projectiles they fire have the kinetic force in the kiloton range (i.e. equivalent to a nuclear blast), while the people inside of the target ship, even if mass effect generators are off-line, get ''slightly'' buffeted to the side.
** Brought up at one point in the Citadel DLC, where you can meet up with Cortez, your shuttle pilot. To show Shepard what it was like before mass effect fields, Cortez turns them off as he takes off in the shuttle, and Shepard can barely stand up straight from the shaking. Cortez then goes on to talk about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-suit modern-day anti-g suits]] (which 22nd century fighter pilots still wear in case they need to transfer power from the dampers).
* Presumably, AMS Compatibility in VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4/for Answer also directly influences tolerance to G-forces. That particular universe ''is'' filled with hyper-maneuverable HumongousMecha that can hit upwards from 100 kph in an instant acceleration to any lateral direction, repeatedly.
* Appears to be present in ''StarRuler'' - otherwise your ships with squishy meatbag crews would suddenly lose the crew when they accelerate at the better part of a hundred Gs.
* The Arilou fighters in the ''VideoGame/StarControl'' series have inertia-less drives, granting them much better maneuverability than the other ships.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Averted (and [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1000/fv00917.htm played for laughs]]) in Webcomic/{{Freefall}}.
* Since ArtificialGravity is used for propulsion in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' and ships routinely reach high fractions of ''c'', it's [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2001-01-20 explicitly said]] that gravity-based [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2005-09-24 inertial dampening is its own field of engineering]], "Inertiics", and that said engineers make a lot of money making sure that people aren't hurt or injured by unwanted acceleration. This field is so advanced that it is implemented in a limited form in powered armor (which compensate for an impact with a gravitational tug, as acceleration only kills you when applied unevenly). The narrator also notes at one point that, due to the staggering magnitude of the g-forces involved in ship movement, the last thing you ever want to hear your shipboard AI say is "brace for acceleration", as that is very likely to be the last thing you hear at all.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Phaeton}}'' photon shells reduce G force so people aren't ripped apart by FTL travel, but at high enough speeds you can still be thrown against the back wall.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* In RealLife, high-speed trains such as Pendolinos damp out the centrifugal effect on curved sections of track by tilting the car bodies, thereby ensuring that passengers don't suffer from nausea. However, as British Rail learned with its failed APT project, if the damping effect is ''too'' good passengers can still feel nauseated because their eyes tell them they should be feeling a force and their bodies don't.
** All fast corners on railways are banked (known as Cant in the UK or Superelevation elsewhere) to some extent for the same reason, and also to prevent rail and wheel wear from flange contact (the wheel profile is what steers a train, other than on very sharp corners the flanges should not touch the rails). The problem is as the banking is fixed, it must be a compromise so as not to discomfort passengers or cause inside flange contact on slow or stopped trains. The limit for normal lines is usually 6 inches, but dedicated high speed lines can be higher. The benefit of tilt is that it can vary with speed, and can allow up to 9 deg of additional banking at top speed.
* Real Life: Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, as aircraft performance improved, aircrew, especially fighter pilots, began to faint in the cockpit during particularly hard maneuvers. This is very bad, for obvious reasons. Aircrew were issued with special G-suits beginning in WWII; these take the form of trousers which inflate during hard maneuvers. This keeps blood in the upper body; that way, the pilots don't faint or lose too much peripheral vision. They still have to use special breathing techniques (including the energy-straining maneuver, a muscular clampdown best described as "straining on the toilet") and undergo centrifuge training to be able to stand it. Early G-suits were water-inflated; later models switched to air inflation. The recent, famous Libelle suit, from a German firm, uses "passive fluid bladders" to cushion and protect the pilot, and by all means works very well. The name means "dragonfly" in German; the dragonfly is designed in much the same way. Liquid immersion has been tried in real life; a Dr. R. Flanagan Gray took a ride in a water-filled centrifuge capsule at one point, safely sustaining 31 Gs for several seconds. Another man, a Colonel John Stapp, volunteered as a human guinea pig, experiencing extreme decelerations during rocket-sled tests. Later, a Captain Eli Bleeding sustained 83 g for a brief instant...well, negative g, anyway. The research had civilian applications; it went a long way towards improving automobile safety. John Stapp was present when the act mandating the inclusion of seatbelts in all new US vehicles was signed into law by President Johnson.
** The [=JU87=] "Stuka" dive bombers when pulling out of a dive could produce high enough G force to cause the pilot to temporarily black out. For this reason, once the bomb was released, the pull out was automatic, the pilot regaining control once the plane was climbing on full throttle.
*** Even so, accident rate on Stukas was high and the training required for the crew was strenuous and difficult, while the plane itself, being optimized for dive bombing, was lacking in performance. This was the problem for every other World War 2 dive bombers too, which is why pretty much every country got out of building specialized dive bombers (and gave up on high-angle dive bombing in general) by the time World War II was coming to close.
** For that matter, the seatbelts in your car sort of qualify. After all, they're intended to protect you from forces which might otherwise turn you into chunky salsa, at least in some circumstances, no?
*** For one, they're built with some give to bleed off some of the inertia during sudden stops. Secondly, when worn properly, they concentrate the force over the hips and the entirety of the ribcage, two extremely hardy bits of human physiology. That's one of the reasons that children are encouraged to either not use the shoulder belt or else use a device which changes its angle. Otherwise, the strap goes across their neck and things can get messy during a crash.
** The airbag as well. However, it's ''not'' the inflation that saves you, it's the moment after inflation that saves you. Think about it: if you have to make a stop in less than a second, would you want someone punching you, or catching you? Hence it's recommended to stay as far away from any airbag launcher as comfortably as possible.
* Funnily enough, the hypothetical Alcubierre drive, which would get around the speed-of-light limit by essentially moving spacetime instead of the ship, sounds an awful lot like ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s warp drive, but wouldn't require any inertia compensation while in use: since the ship isn't moving locally, everyone and everything on board remains in free-fall.
** But you might want to damp the inertia of everything that your warp bubble has run into, or it will have quite a lot of momentum when you stop...
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