The Challenger Carousel, a.k.a. The Castle, is a huge spin-gravity carousel originally built by the US goverment and Weyland Consortium in order to provide artificial gravity for the workers during the Beanstalk’s construction. It is part of the Nearside facility on the Challenger Planetoid, and it is connected to Challenger Station.
It was purchased many years ago by entrepreneur Gianfranco Calderoli in order to house his then-new nightclub, The Castle Club. Its success led to the development of more entertainment venues within the structure, as well as glamorous residential facilities for the wealthy patrons who couldn't stay away. The club's medieval fantasy decor bleeds out into most of the structure, which is why it is nicknamed "The Castle".
It is composed of a pair of side-by-side, three-decked wheels rotating on the planetoid’s surface. Each wheel is 200 meters across and rotates once every 28 seconds in order to create a steady half-G of spin gravity. Both wheels rotate in opposite directions, the torque of one countered perfectly by the torque of the other, to avoid the transference of spin to the planetoid, which would have disastrous consequences for the space elevator.
There are numerous facilities housed within and around the Challenger Carousel:
- Ballet theater
- Carousel Boardrooms: a popular conference center available for business meetings
- Carousel Emergency Medical Facility
- Castle Club
- Cloudtop Cabaret and Lounge
- Earthview Restaurant: an exclusive restaurant that, as the name suggests, allows you to dine while looking upon the Earth above
- High Frontier Hotel: a large hotel and business center
- Honeymoon Hilton