NASA Selects New Technologies for Parabolic Flights and Suborbital Launches


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NASA's Flight Opportunities Program has selected eight space technology payloads for reduced gravity flights on board specialized aircraft and commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicles (sRLVs). These flights provide a valuable platform to mature cutting-edge technologies, validating feasibility and reducing technical risks and costs before infusion into future space missions. 

Five of the newly selected proposals requested parabolic flights, which involve a flight maneuver that uses a dramatic half-minute drop of the aircraft though the sky to simulate weightlessness. Two proposed projects will fly on sRLVs for testing during longer periods of weightlessness. An additional payload will fly on both platforms.  

Selected for parabolic flights on aircraft are:

  • “Zero Gravity Mass Measurement Device Parabolic Flight Test” - John Wetzel, principal investigator, Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin
  • “Evaluation of the Biosleeve Gesture Control Interface for Telerobotics in Microgravity” –  Christopher Assad, principal investigator, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • “Flight Demonstration of a Gravity-Insensitive, Microchannel Membrane Phase Separator” - Weibo Chen, principal investigator,  Creare Inc., Hanover, New Hampshire
  • “PRIME-4.0: Miniaturized and Reusable Asteroid Regolith Microgravity Experiment for Suborbital and Orbital Use” - Josh Colwell, principal investigator, University of Central Florida,  Orlando, Florida
  • “Testing of a Novel IVA (Intra-Vehicular Activity) Space Suit” - Ted Southern, principal investigator, Final Frontier Design, LLC, Brooklyn, New York
  • “Evolved Medical Microgravity Suction Device” - Charles Cuttino, principal investigator, Orbital Medicine, Inc., Midlothian, Virginia

Selected for flights on sRLVs are:

  • “Suborbital Evaluation of an Aqueous Immersion Surgical System for Reduced Gravity” - George Pantalos, principal investigator, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
  • “Suborbital Particle Aggregation and Collision Experiment-2 (SPACE-2)” - Julie Brisset, principal investigator, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
  • “Evolved Medical Microgravity Suction Device” - Charles Cuttino, principal investigator, Orbital Medicine, Inc., Midlothian, Virginia          

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