780 Falcon Cir #200
Warminster, PA 18974
This year’s event will be hosted at “the most unique venue in the universe.” The Fuge is where, in 1959, the Mercury Seven astronauts began their centrifuge training.
From the mid-1940’s through 1996, the US Navy operated 31 development laboratories in Warminster, Pennsylvania. These labs worked on military applications of technologies that we all take for granted today; including flight data recorder or “black box” technology, GPS and photosensitive lenses, which generated over 50 patents annually. Among the labs at the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center (NADC) was the Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory (AMAL), the centerpiece of which was the largest and most powerful human centrifuge that the world has ever seen. When it began operations in 1949, the Johnsville Centrifuge was an engineering marvel of its day. The centrifuge was built to test the limits of the human body relative to the high acceleration generated by the post-WWII fighter jets. The engineers and scientists knew that the rockets used to propel spacecraft into orbit and beyond would subject America’s pioneering astronauts to high G’s. Knowing that, there was no better place to train America’s first astronauts than Johnsville. Throughout the 60’s the space program progressed as the United States came ever closer to the goal of “landing a man on the moon and retuning him safely to the Earth.” Eventually, all of America’s early astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and John Glenn received centrifuge training at Johnsville. As the Apollo program was winding down, the Johnsville Centrifuge continued to train Space Shuttle astronauts and F-14 pilots into the 1980’s.