Follow for more talkers

Company announces ‘world first’ microgravity environment

The development is a step towards transforming testing across industries.

Avatar photo



By Dean Murray via SWNS

A company is offering "world first" access to a microgravity environment in Cornwall, England.

Gravitilab Aerospace Services Ltd claims to provide up to 20 seconds of microgravity by releasing a so-called drop-pod from 2,000 feet.

The firm says they have successfully paved the way for a new era of microgravity access on earth by engineering the first-ever commercial microgravity service using its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.

In a test at Predannack airfield on The Lizard peninsula, Gravitilab’s UAV solution ascended and then released the payload within their patent-protected "LOUIS" drop-pod, achieving a period of microgravity – a "world first" for generating a sustained microgravity environment using an UAV system.

A company is offering "world first" access to a microgravity environment - in Cornwall. (Ross Vernon McDonald via SWNS)

Rob Adlard, CEO and Technical Director of Gravitilab, said: "The only option for terrestrial microgravity testing until now has been to wait several years for access to a drop tower in Germany, which provides two seconds of microgravity.

"Our service can be delivered locally, is less expensive and as a result of our demonstration flight, we are on target to offer 5 to 20 seconds of high-quality microgravity using our LOUIS UAV system."

Gravitilab says the development is a step towards transforming testing across industries from cosmetics to satellites, enabling timely and cost-effective access to gravity-free environments. 

The test, which opens up the world of microgravity research to a new market, was commissioned by Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to support their ambition to spearhead innovation within the UK space industry, and lead the delivery of UK space and aerospace services.  

A company are offering 'world first' access to a microgravity environment - in Cornwall. (Ross Vernon McDonald via SWNS)

Environments that are free from the impact of gravity offer far superior research and testing conditions which have proven scientific and commercial benefits.

Making microgravity more accessible allows Gravitilab to offer unique R&D conditions for industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, building materials, communications, SpaceTech and climate science.

Rob Adlard says: "This is a fantastic collaborative achievement for Gravitilab, the Cornwall Space Cluster, and the UK Space Industry as a whole."

Gail Eastaugh, director at Cornwall Space Cluster said: “We’re thrilled to have been able to support the achievement of this world first in microgravity testing from Cornwall. Cornwall Space Cluster exists to unlock innovation within the space and aerospace sector and companies like Gravitlab are paving the way for the future of the industry.”  

Gravitilab, which is currently in discussions with new investors, has to date been funded by the UK Space Agency and private capital.

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers