From European Space Agency: “Large Diameter Centrifuge at full speed”

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From European Space Agency

ESA –A. Le Floc’h


ESA’s Large Diameter Centrifuge at the Agency’s technical heart in the Netherlands is seen running here at full speed. The 8-m diameter four-arm centrifuge gives researchers access to a range of hypergravity environments up to 20 times Earth’s gravity for weeks or months at a time.

The centrifuge rotates at up to 67 revs per minute, with its six gondolas placed at different points along its arms weighing in at 130 kg, and each capable of accommodating 80 kg of payload. Multiply those combined figures by 20 g and it adds up to an equivalent mass of 24 tonnes.

Based within a scifi-style white dome at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the centrifuge has been a place of pilgrimage for European researchers for more than a decade including student experimenters on regular Spin Your Thesis! campaigns.

ESA Estec

The LDC is popular with life and physical science teams, as well as commercial experiments. Internal ESA teams use the centrifuge to see how spacecraft materials and components would respond to the violent accelerations involved in launching into space.

See what happens to an air and water balloon in hypergravity here.

A next-generation centrifuge has been proposed from an ESA Topical team study: measuring around 200 m in diameter, this “Human Hypergravity Habitat” would be big enough for people to live in a hypergravity environment for months on end.

ESA Human Hypergravity Habitat – H3

See the full article here .

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The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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