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NASA invites students to fly high for weightless science

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Old September 21st 04, 04:19 PM
Jacques van Oene
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Default NASA invites students to fly high for weightless science

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington September 20, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Laura Rochon
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-0229)

RELEASE: 04-303


NASA is looking for a few adventurous students, willing
to test their science experiments, while floating aboard the
agency's famous "Weightless Wonder" aircraft.

The Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program at
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, annually gives
undergraduate student teams the opportunity to research,
design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity
experiment. The student teams follow much the same path as
scientists who develop experiments that fly in space.

The teams test their designs during a roller coaster-like ride
that produces brief periods of microgravity, similar to what
astronauts experience during spaceflight. A NASA C-9 aircraft,
the military version of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 jet airliner,
flies a series of carefully choreographed maneuvers to achieve
the weightless effect. The "hill climbs and freefalls" create
weightlessness for 25 seconds. Students will experience how
the human body reacts during the 30-freefall periods during
each flight.

Student teams have until Oct. 20, 2004, to send their
proposals to NASA for evaluation on technical merit, safety,
and an outreach plan. Selections will be announced Dec. 6,
2004, with flights beginning in the spring of 2005. Each team
will have the opportunity to choose a journalist to fly with
them and document their experience. For information about the
Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program on the
Web, visit:


For information about NASA education programs on the Internet,


For information about NASA and agency programs on the
Internet, visit:




Jacques :-)



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