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2.2 Second Drop Tower
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A low gravity environment is created as the package freefalls from the eighth floor to the first floor. The drop ends when the drag shield and experiment are stopped by an airbag, located at the bottom of the tower.


View from the 8th floor as technicians ready the drag shield assembly Experiment hardware being installed in a drop frame
Quick Facts
Description
The drop tower’s 2.2 second microgravity test time is created by allowing the experiment package to free fall a distance of 79 feet (24 m). The Drop Tower uses an experiment/drag shield system to minimize the aerodynamic drag on the free falling experiment. Experiments are assembled in a rectangular aluminum frame which is enclosed in an aerodynamically designed drag shield (which weighs 725 pounds, 330 kg). This package is hoisted to the top of the tower (the eighth floor), where it is connected to monitoring equipment (e.g., high-speed video cameras and on-board computers) before being dropped.

2.2 Second Drop Tower
Operational Parameters
Microgravity Duration: 2.2 seconds
Free Fall Distance: 79 feet, 1 inch (24 m)
Gravitational Accelleration: <0.001 g
Mean Deceleration: 15 g
Peak Deceleration: 30 g
Experimental Drop Packages
Gross Drop Package Weight: 1075 lbs. (487 kg)
(drag shield and equipment)
Experimental Payload Weight: up to 350 lbs. (159 kg)
Experimental Payload Diameter: 38 inches wide, 33 inches high, 16 inches deep (96cm x 84cm x 40cm)
Facility Manager: Eric.S.Neumann@nasa.gov


Street view of the 2.2 Second Drop Tower

Street view of the 2.2 Second Drop Tower

 
Further Information
Layout of the Drop Tower
Diagram of the 2.2 Second Drop Tower
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Zero Gravity Research Facility (Zero-G)
A premier facility for conducting ground-based microgravity research.
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Last Updated: February 3, 2009