The simulation of microgravity conditions on the ground.

G. Albrecht-Buehler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This chapter defines weightlessness as the condition where the acceleration of an object is independent of its mass. Applying this definition to the clinostat, it argues that the clinostat is very limited as a simulator of microgravity because it (a) generates centrifugal forces, (b) generates particle oscillations with mass-dependent amplitudes of speed and phase shifts relative to the clinorotation, (c) is unable to remove globally the scalar effects of gravity such as hydrostatic pressure, which are independent of the direction of gravity in the first place, and, (d) generates more convective mixing of the gaseous or liquid environment of the test object, rather than eliminating it, as would true weightlessness. It is proposed that attempts to simulate microgravity must accept the simulation of one aspect of microgravity at a time, and urges that the suppression of convective currents be a major feature of experimental methods that simulate microgravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalASGSB bulletin : publication of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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