ESA’s centrifuge is one of the attractions on view to the public at the ESTEC Open Day on Sunday 4 October.
Scientists interested in hypergravity need to create it for minutes, days or even weeks at a time. Fortunately, ESA’s Large Diameter Centrifuge does just that. Based at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, the centrifuge is designed not for astronaut training but for scientific research.
The 8 m-diameter centrifuge can create up to 20 g, with four gondolas holding up to 80 kg of experiments. Two more gondolas can be attached half way along the arm to provide different g-levels at the same time. Its operators observe the centrifuge from behind bulletproof glass, for safety.