Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Facilities for Simulation of Microgravity in the ESA Ground-Based Facility Programme

  • Sonja Brungs
  • Marcel Egli
  • Simon L. Wuest
  • Peter C. M. Christianen
  • Jack J. W. A. van Loon
  • Thu Jennifer Ngo Anh
  • Ruth HemmersbachEmail author


Knowledge of the role of gravity in fundamental biological processes and, consequently, the impact of exposure to microgravity conditions provide insight into the basics of the development of life as well as enabling long-term space exploration missions. However, experimentation in real microgravity is expensive and scarcely available; thus, a variety of platforms have been developed to provide, on Earth, an experimental condition comparable to real microgravity. With the aim of simulating microgravity conditions, different ground-based facilities (GBF) have been constructed such as clinostats and random positioning machines as well as magnets for magnetic levitation. Here, we give an overview of ground-based facilities for the simulation of microgravity which were used in the frame of an ESA ground-based research programme dedicated to providing scientists access to these experimental capabilities in order to prepare their space experiments.


Levitation Clinostat Random Positioning Machine Simulated microgravity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Brungs
    • 1
  • Marcel Egli
    • 2
  • Simon L. Wuest
    • 2
  • Peter C. M. Christianen
    • 3
  • Jack J. W. A. van Loon
    • 4
  • Thu Jennifer Ngo Anh
    • 5
  • Ruth Hemmersbach
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR), Gravitational BiologyLinder HoeheCologneGermany
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Architecture, CC Aerospace Biomedical Science and Technology, Space Biology GroupLucerne University of Applied Sciences and ArtsHergiswilSwitzerland
  3. 3.High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML)Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.DESC (Dutch Experiment Support Center), Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery / Oral Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Amsterdam & ESA-ESTEC, TEC-MMG, Life & Physical ScienceInstrumentation and Life Support Laboratory NoordwijkNoordwijkThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Human Spaceflight and OperationsEuropean Space AgencyNoordwijkThe Netherlands

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