Zero Gravity Research Facility

The Zero Gravity Research Facility at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is a unique facility designed to perform tests in a reduced gravity environment. It has successfully supported research for the United States crewed spacecraft programs and numerous uncrewed projects. The facility uses vertical drop tests in a vacuum chamber to investigate the behavior of components, systems, liquids, gases, and combustion in such circumstances.
The facility consists of a concrete-lined shaft, 28 feet in diameter, that extends 510 feet below ground level. A steel vacuum chamber, 20 feet in diameter and 470 feet high, is contained within the concrete shaft. The pressure in this vacuum chamber is reduced to 13.3 pascals before use. Test equipment is typically mounted in a cylindrical container, and has a maximum weight of 2,500 pounds. Equipment dropped in the chamber experiences microgravity for about 5.15 seconds before landing in a deceleration cart filled with expanded styrofoam beads; it typically experiences 32g during deceleration, but may range up to 65g.
The service building at the top of the shaft contains a shop area, control room, and a clean room.
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