Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.936.1 - 9.936.8
NASA KC-135A Reduced Gravity Undergraduate Program
G. K. Watkins, K.L. Locklear, R. J. Goins, C.W. Spivey
William States Lee College of Engineering The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC 28223
The Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsors the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. The highly competitive program affords undergraduate students the opportunity to propose, design, fabricate, execute, and evaluate reduced gravity experiments. NASA s KC-135A research aircraft flies multiple parabolic loops that simulate zero gravity for periods up to 25 seconds. Students and their reduced gravity experiments fly in the aircraft s cargo area.
In December 2002, a team of seven students from two North Carolina universities was selected to conduct reduced gravity aqueous diffusion experiments aboard the KC-135A. The students, from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, worked together on the project, collaborating via videoconferencing, email, and occasional face-to-face meetings. They successfully overcame the obstacle of the 120 mile distance between the institutions, and executed their experiments during multiple flights in April 2003.
As part of the project, the team performed numerous outreach activities. A highlight was bringing their test apparatus to local classrooms and having students perform some of the normal-gravity portions of their experiments. They later returned to the same classrooms with video of the same experiments performed in zero-gravity.
The team experienced some difficulties with their experiments, as might be expected in a first-year project, and submitted a proposal to continue for a second year. The proposal was accepted by NASA and work on design changes has already begun. This year s flights will take place April 15-24, 2004.
Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education
Goins, R., & Locklear, K., & Watkins, G., & Spivey, C. (2004, June), Nasa Kc 135 Reduced Gravity Undergraduate Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/12916
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