Gravity affects everything we do on Earth but we know surprisingly little about how it works and how it affects life. Until recently scientists had no way of experimenting without gravity to understand what life would be like without it.
Research in space or with facilities on Earth that recreate aspects of space bring knowledge, discoveries and improvements to our daily life and further our exploration of the Solar System.
ESA offers many platforms for conducting experiments across the whole spectrum of scientific disciplines. You can run an experiment in a sounding rocket, drop towers, centrifuges, Antarctica and even the International Space Station.
ESA has a centrifuge for hypergravity experiments. With a full range of gravity levels at their disposal, gravity becomes just another variable for scientists in the laboratory. The Large Diameter Centrifuge at ESA’s technical heart, ESTEC, can spin at 67 revolutions a minute to recreate gravity 20 times more than we feel on Earth. The four arms can carry up to eight experiments of up to 80 kg each to spin under different gravity levels. Long-during projects can even be left spinning for six months to examine, for example, how a plant would grow on Mars or other larger planets.
Proposals for experiments are always welcome and can be submitted via the research announcement page: www.esa.int/spaceflightAO
Science is everywhere at ESA. As well as exploring the Universe and answering the big questions about our place in space we develop the satellites, rockets and technologies to get there. Science also helps us to care for our home planet. All this week we're highlighting different aspects of science at ESA. Join the conversation with #ScienceAtESA.