Providing a quiescent microgravity, or low-gravity, environment for fundamental scientific research is one of the major goals of the International Space Station program. This apparent weightlessness is created as the Space Station circles and falls around Earth, and the continuous free fall simulates the absence of gravity.
However, tiny disturbances aboard the space station mimic the effects of gravity, and scientists need to understand, track and measure these potential disruptions. Two accelerometer systems developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, are being used aboard the Station. Operation of these systems began with Expedition Two and will continue throughout the life of the Space Station.