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    Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED)

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    Grant Us Space

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    Leland Melvin, Associate Administrator for Education, NASA (on right)

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    Microgravity University (UGrad)

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    Grant Us Space

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    Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED)

  • Microgravity University students on plane

    Microgravity University (UGrad)

  • Microgravity University students on plane

    Microgravity University (UGrad)

  • Microgravity University students on plane

    Microgravity University (UGrad)

  • Grant Us Space students on plane

    Grant Us Space

  • Minority-serving institution students on plane

    Minority-serving Institutions with Community College (MSI/CC)

Welcome! RGEFP is a one of a kind opportunity for higher education students and K-12 teachers to fly education research in a microgravity environment.

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***Website updated September 29, 2014***

NASA has not decided how or if Microgravity Flights will occur in the future. This website will be updated as new guidance is released.

Overview

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a microgravity environment?

The Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program (RGEFP) provides the higher academic communities with just that opportunity! NASA's RGEFP is a once in a lifetime experience for teachers and students to propose, design, build, test and fly a microgravity experiment aboard the microgravity aircraft. The RGEFP selects research teams of students and educators dedicated to enhancing their science and technical knowledge to conduct their experiments aboard the aircraft. The program which was founded in 1995, is based out of NASA's Johnson Space Center and flies selected research teams out of Ellington Field.

Are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to get started?

Please see below for specific program information and answers to some of our most popular questions.

Also, check out our Reduced Gravity brochure for additional information.

Programs

Microgravity University (UGrad)

Higher Education Learners

Undergraduate student teams from colleges and universities across the country are selected for the opportunity to propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice over the course of four-six months.
> Read More

Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED)

Higher Education Learners

A unique opportunity that pairs undergraduate student teams, interested in Systems Engineering, with NASA mentors to design, fabricate, fly and evaluate experiments from ongoing NASA research projects.
> Read More

Minority-Serving Institutions and Community College (MSI/CC)

Higher Education Learners

NASA's Office of Education offers this opportunity for undergraduate students attending Minority-Serving Institutions and Community Colleges to work with NASA mentors in creating a reduced gravity experiment.
> Read More

Grant Us Space

Higher Education Learners

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program offers this opportunity for students attending colleges and universities affiliated with Space Grant consortia to conduct research in a unique reduced gravity environment.
> Read More

NASA Explorer Schools (NES)

Educators

The NASA Explorer School program offers a unique and interactive program opportunity where educators build RGEFP experiments with their students to evaluate data before collecting research aboard the reduced gravity aircraft.
> Read More

Microgravity eXperience (μGX)

Educators

NASA's Teaching from Space offers a special opportunity for K-12 educators to participate in an online professional development to create, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment.
> Read More

U.S. Department of Energy and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (DOE/PPL)

Educators

Opportunities for K-12 educators to participate in a unique academic experience known as the Reduced Gravity Teacher Flight Opportunity.
> Read More

High School United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH)

High School Seniors

The High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) Project has partnered with NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program to create a unique flight week opportunity for students.
> Read More

Questions

What is microgravity?

Microgravity is a term used to describe various states of gravity much less than the normal gravity typically experienced on earth. The gravity here on Earth is referred to as one G and our parabolic flight experience will give you the opportunity to experience microgravity near or at zero gravity. The microgravity effect is achieved through free fall. The result is 15-25 seconds of free fall just like you would experience on the International Space Station!!!!

What is a flight parabola?

A flight parabola is a maneuver performed by the plane where the flyer experiences different levels of gravity. Check out the image (Figure 1) to see how the plane travels as it maneuvers during each parabola.

What is a typical flight profile?

The reduced gravity aircraft generally flies 30 parabolic maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico. This parabolic pattern provides about 30 seconds of hypergravity (about 1.8G-2G) as the plane climbs to the top of the parabola. Once the plane starts to "nose over" the top of the parabola to descend toward Earth, the plane experiences about 15-25 seconds of microgravity (μG). At the very top and bottom of the parabola, flyers experience a mix of partial G's between 0 and 1.8 (called "dirty air").

How do I apply?

You must form a team. Each participant is a part of a team and teams range in size from 3-6 people. The criteria to form a team are specific to the individual program. Please see all of our program opportunities above for more information.

Figure 1: Microgravity flight parabola
Microgravity Flight Parabola

Contacts

Program Manager

Frank Prochaska (Student Campaigns)
(281) 483-1999
(575) 525-7975 fax
jsc-reducedgravity@nasa.gov
Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: AD4
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058-3696

Program Manager

Veronica Seyl (Educator Campaigns)
(281) 483-5110
(575) 525-7975 fax
jsc-reducedgravity@nasa.gov
Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: AD4
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058-3696

Program Coordinator

James Semple
(281)792-7872
(575) 525-7975 fax
jsc-reducedgravity@nasa.gov
Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: AD4
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058-3696