***Website updated September 29, 2014***
NASA has not decided how or if Microgravity Flights will occur in the future. This website will be updated as new guidance is released.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
NASA's Johnson Space Center Office of Education announces the opportunity for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to conduct research in a unique reduced gravity environment. This opportunity is a partnership between Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) and NASA's JSC Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, which gives aspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced gravity experiment. MUREP's purpose is to increase NASA's responsiveness to Federal mandates related to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) institutions and Other Minority Universities (OMU). MUREP's goal is to strengthen involvement with higher education institutions to ensure that NASA can meet future workforce needs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. Participation in NASA projects and research stimulates increasing numbers of students to continue their studies at all levels of the higher education continuum and earn advanced degrees in these critical fields.
Selected teams will then get to test and evaluate their experiment aboard a microgravity aircraft, which flies about 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of micro and hyper gravity, ranging from 0 g's to 2 g's.
The Reduced Gravity Flight Program is a unique opportunity that challenges undergraduate students from colleges and universities to design experiments. The proposed projects are identified by the NASA technical workforce and are in support of current NASA systems engineering projects throughout the agency. Student teams of five to seven people will design, fabricate, fly and evaluate these experiments over a course of four to six months. These selected teams will work with NASA Principal Investigators to carry out scientific research, hands-on investigational design, test operations and educational/public outreach activities from ongoing NASA projects.
Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program Overview:
What is microgravity?
Microgravity is a term used to describe various states of gravity much less than the normal gravity typically experienced on earth. The gravity here on Earth is referred to as one G and our parabolic flight experience will give you the opportunity to experience microgravity near or at zero gravity. The microgravity effect is achieved through free fall. The result is 15-25 seconds of free fall just like you would experience on the International Space Station!!!!
What is a flight parabola?
A flight parabola is a maneuver performed by the plane where the flyer experiences different levels of gravity. Check out the image (Figure 1) to see how the plane travels as it maneuvers during each parabola.
What is a typical flight profile?
The reduced gravity aircraft generally flies 30 parabolic maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico. This parabolic pattern provides about 30 seconds of hypergravity (about 1.8G-2G) as the plane climbs to the top of the parabola. Once the plane starts to "nose over" the top of the parabola to descend toward Earth, the plane experiences about 15-25 seconds of microgravity (μG). At the very top and bottom of the parabola, flyers experience a mix of partial G's between 0 and 1.8 (called "dirty air").
NASA Mentors/PI contact James Semple, firstname.lastname@example.org, for application. In the subject line, please put MUREP.
Student, see tabs on right side of page for application.
Questions? Please contact:
James Semple (email@example.com)
NASA Education Specialist - Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program Coordinator