NASA Selects New Technologies for Parabolic Flights and Suborbital Launches
Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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
The selectees’ experiments are expected to take to the skies in 2016 and 2017 on flights with U.S. commercial providers arranged by the proposers. The selected proposals requested parabolic flights from Integrated Spaceflight Services, Inc. and ZeroG Corporation. Suborbital reusable launch vehicle flights were requested from Blue Origin, EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies and Virgin Galactic .
This selection was made through the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate Research, Development, Demonstration and Infusion (REDDI) announcement, adding to more than 160 payloads that NASA has chosen for test flights through the Flight Opportunities Program.
The Flight Opportunities Program seeks to advance space technology to meet future mission needs through flight activities that foster the growth of the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry and workforce. NASA will pay for the integration and flight costs for the selected payloads, and limited funds will be provided for other costs to facilitate the flight readiness of these payloads. The next REDDI Flight Opportunities call for proposals will be released in early 2016.
The Flight Opportunities Program, part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, is managed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, manages the solicitation and selection of technologies to be tested and demonstrated on commercial flight vehicles.
For more information on NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, visit: