In order to understand the impact of gravity on life as a whole, it is necessary to investigate the responses of biosystems to reduced or enhanced gravity. On ground, a variety of methods is available to either increase acceleration using centrifuges or to provide functional weightless by the employment of clinostats. The term Artificial Gravity encompasses the increase or, respectively, the compensation of gravity using technical devices. Doing so provides an important basis for the preparation of experiments to be carried out in space. Our expertise is developing and operating such ground-based facilities, which are being adapted to the particular requirements of scientific questions. In cooperation with universities, the impact of gravity on, e.g., cellular systems such as immune, cancer and stem cells is investigated. Our research employing centrifuges especially focuses on the development of countermeasures to compensate physiological alterations, which occur in astronauts and people during long-term bedrest.
Data achieved using ground-based devices are being validated in the course of experiments under real microgravity conditions. In this context we carry out experiments, employing the Bremen drop tower, during parabolic aircraft flights and aboard sounding rockets such as DLR´s MAPHEUS rocket.
See Facilities: Clinostats and Centrifuges in Gravitational Biology