NASA Calls for Technologies To Fly Aboard Zero-G Plane

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NASA is giving researchers until April 19 to submit proposals for the opportunity to test emerging technologies this September during flights aboard a commercially operated airplane that simulates the weightless conditions of space.

The technologies should have potential use in future NASA projects, support future exploration systems, or improve air and space vehicle capabilities, NASA said in a March 11 press release.

NASA’s Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology program is intended to help emerging technologies mature through testing in a reduced gravity environment.

The U.S. space agency expects to select approximately 14 to 20 projects for test flights, which will take place from NASA’s Ellington Field in Houston.

NASA spokeswoman Sonja Alexander said March 18 that the flights will be flown by Vienna, Va.-based Zero Gravity Corp. under its Microgravity Services Contract.

The commercial company has been flying paying passengers aboard specially modified 727 jetliners since 2004.