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NASA Selects Louisiana School to Fly Aboard 'Weightless Wonder'

Press Release From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008

NASA has selected Broadmoor Middle Laboratory School from Shreveport, La., to fly a student-designed experiment aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft, the "Weightless Wonder."

Broadmoor Middle Laboratory School will join 10 other NASA Explorer School (NES) teams selected for this unique learning experience to test science and math concepts in a weightless laboratory aboard the Weightless Wonder in February. The modified McDonnell Douglas C-9 jetliner will fly a series of parabolic maneuvers --- steep climbs followed by sharp descents. Each climb will produce about 30 seconds of hyper gravity, ranging from 1.8 to 2 g's. When the C-9 "noses over," each free fall will produce 18 to 25 seconds of weightlessness. The teams will fly about 32 parabolas.

The school's immediate mission is to finalize the concept of its experiment and work with a NASA mentor to get their experiment flight-ready. The team will need to decide which educators will execute and accompany the experiment aboard the aircraft. Those educators will travel to NASA's aircraft facility at Ellington Field and the Johnson Space Center in Houston on Feb 19, 2009, to prepare for their flight the following week.

"The goal of the NASA Explorer School Program is to equip the next generation of explorers. These flights are an illustration of how NASA can connect space, math and science to classrooms on Earth," said Rob Lasalvia, NES Program Manager.

The NASA Explorer School Program enables schools and their communities to work with NASA in a three-year partnership to develop the nation's future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) work force. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations, and career ambitions of America's young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in STEM programs to encourage their pursuit of educational disciplines critical to NASA's future missions. There are now 210 teams, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

For more information on other NASA Reduced Gravity Programs, visit the Web at:

http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/

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