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NASA Seeks Undergrads to Defy Gravity for Science and Engineering

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:58 pm
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HOUSTON, (NASA) — NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to test experiments in microgravity aboard NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” aircraft.

The opportunity is part of NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, which gives aspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced gravity experiment. Selected teams will get to test and evaluate their experiment aboard NASA’s reduced gravity airplane. The aircraft flies about 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips during experiment flights to produce periods of weightlessness and hyper-gravity ranging from 0 g to 2 g.

NASA

NASA

“Today’s students will be the ones going to the moon and beyond to live, explore and work,” said Douglas Goforth, the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.”This project gives them a head start in preparing for those future ventures by allowing them to conduct hands-on research and engineering today in a truly reduced gravity laboratory.”

Proposals are due to NASA by Oct. 28. Interested students also should submit a letter of intent by Sept. 16. This step is optional but serves as an introductory notice that a team plans to submit a proposal for the upcoming competition.

NASA will announce selected teams Dec. 9. They will fly in the summer of 2010. Once selected, teams also may invite a full-time, accredited journalist to fly with them and document the team’s experiment and experiences. All applicants must be full-time students, U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.

With this program, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation’s education programs. It is directly tied the agency’s education goal of strengthening NASA and the nation’s future workforce. Through this and other college and university programs, NASA will identify and develop the critical skills and capabilities needed to carry out its space exploration mission.

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