Hello, layman question here. Suppose a spaceship approaches a highly massive body, at great speed; it violently swings around the body and comes back in less than a minute. All in a free trajectory, with thrusters never applied. The question is: would the occupants of the ship be crushed against the outward wall of the capsule? Or the centrifugal force would be perfectly balanced with the body's attraction, and thus the occupants be all the time in free-falling ingravity? The issue came in the context of satellites measuring the Earth's geode, by detecting tiny variations in their own orbits. A colleague of mine argued that, since the satellite follows a geodesic, accelerometers on board would not pick anything; thus two satellites are needed, one closely following the other, and from measures of their relative distance, variations on their orbit can be indirectly deduced.