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Louisiana Tech University researchers, NASA partner to conduct zero-gravity experiments
Date:9/2/2011

ately 20 seconds of weightlessness for the researchers and the payload onboard. An abrupt climb back to the starting altitude will create a gravitational force twice the normal amount.

Even Hollywood has gotten into the act, using these flights to depict weightlessness on the silver screen. All of the zero-gravity scenes in the movie Apollo 13 were filmed during these flights. The alternation between zero gravity and 2G forces can so disorienting that NASA astronauts call the aircraft the "vomit comet."

NASA recently selected this system for a week-long series of flights as part of their Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology (FAST) program, which focuses on expanding new technologies to be used in space flight applications.

Tranter is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nanosystems Engineering at Louisiana Tech and will continue to work with Crews on the project. He says they hope to learn very soon if their device can stand up to space environments.

"Low gravity can cause all kinds of unpredictable problems," Tranter said. "Eventually, I hope our system can reveal more about space radiation effects on DNA and cells, leading to options for safe space travel and exploration by humans. Our lab has studied some effects of radiation on DNA, such as UV exposure, but nothing on Earth compares to the environments we hope to study outside of the Earth's atmosphere."


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Contact: Dave Guerin
dguerin@latech.edu
318-257-4854
Louisiana Tech University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Louisiana Tech University researchers, NASA partner to conduct zero-gravity experiments
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