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Turning up gravity for space fungi study

Written by  Monday, 25 September 2023 07:39
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Large Diameter Centrifuge

Fungi in space have been a plot point in Star Trek: Discovery, but they are also a very real problem for astronauts and space stations. United Nations co-sponsored testing by a team from Macau in China subjected fungi to hypergravity with ESA’s fast-spinning centrifuge.

Large Diameter Centrifuge
Large Diameter Centrifuge

Access to the LDC was arranged through HyperGES, part of the Access to Space for All initiative of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, UNOOSA.

The LDC is an 8 m-diameter four-arm centrifuge that gives researchers access to a range of hypergravity up to 20 times Earth gravity for weeks or months at a time.

At its fastest, the centrifuge rotates at up to 67 revs per minute, with its six gondolas placed at different points along its arms weighing in at 130 kg, and each capable of accommodating 80 kg of payload.

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