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Published:September 14th, 2011 11:13 EST
NASA is Looking for a Few Good Students for Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

NASA is Looking for a Few Good Students for Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program

By Ron G Anselm

NASA`s operations in Houston is going to be conducting a Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program in the near future and is challenging undergraduate students and giving them the opportunity to take part in this Microgravity experiment. The experiment and program will consist of two different flight experiences and NASA is accepting proposals for both of the programs that are due to take place in 2012.

Any students that are interested in forming teams to take place in this experiment and are interested in the program that is centered around student driven research should submit a Letter of Intent to participate no later than September 14, 2011.

Of course the Letter of Intent is optional but will be used by NASA to get an idea of how many teams and student plan to submit a proposal and take part in this competition. The proposal by the students and teams that are planning on taking part are due by October 26, 2011. After the proposals are reviewed by NASA the selected teams will be announced by December 7, 2011 and the flight experience will move forward and take place in June of 2012.

The program is designed to not only give undergraduates students the opportunity to look at a future career as a scientist and engineer and give the student the opportunity to design, build and fly an experiment aboard a microgravity aircraft.

The flight experience sounds like a ride on a roller coaster that had too much coffee (if roller coaster could drink coffee) The flight experience is made up of an aircraft that is a modified jet that flies approximately 30- roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to simulate micro- and hyper-gravity. The overall experience includes scientific research, hands-on experimental design, test operations and public outreach activities.

"This program leverages NASA`s unique resources and allows students to determine what it takes to be a real world scientist or engineer," said Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program Manager Doug Goforth (, 2011)

On top of the flight experience program NASA also has other opportunities for students that may be interested in the agency future research pertaining to engineering project that are vital to NASA`s future research and missions. Students that are interested in these types of projects are encouraged to apply for the Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED) flight week opportunity. Proposals are due by Oct. 26, and selected teams will be announced Nov. 30. The SEED flight week will take place in April 2012.

All students interested in applying for the Flight Experience program or the Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED) program must be a United States citizen and if you are full-time student you must be at least 18 years old. If you are one of the teams that are selected to participate in either of these two programs you will also be given the chance to invite a journalist to go along with you to document the experience.

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