A piece of NASA history is preserved in Bucks County

WARMINSTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Warminster, Pennsylvania may seem like an unlikely place to hold a piece of NASA history, but for over half a century it's where astronauts trained for space travel.

"Back in the 40s, the government was building planes that could go higher and faster and the medical community wanted to know if the human body could withstand these forces," said Sam Cravero, owner of an event space called "The Fuge."

The Navy built a machine known as the human centrifuge, which is a simulator that could go 175 miles per hour in just seven seconds. That's enough torque to tear it from almost any foundation.

"They realized that bedrock comes up really high here and they needed a stable foundation," said Gravero, "which means every astronaut that stepped foot on the moon trained here."

He went on to explain how the centrifuge worked. "Not only does this machine spin around the room, but the bubble itself spins in different directions too, so you don't feel like you're going around in a circle, you feel like you're flying."

Cravero has become a historian of sorts for this site of the training facility; he bought it two years after it shut down. But his vision evolved into something much different than space travel.

The centrifuge is now the centerpiece of his event space for things like proms and weddings.

"With the red lights underneath with the fog, it makes it look like a spaceship has kind of landed here," he said.

Despite the transformation from an astronaut training facility, Cravero says he kept a lot of the original pieces from the building intact.

"This rack is original from 1950 so when they say they don't build things like they used to, I think they're referring to stuff like this."
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