What it is all about

Within the scope of my matura paper, I am going to participate in the second Swiss parabolic flight to experience microgravity. You have never heard of the term «parabolic flight»? I will explain it in more details in the following paragraph.

 What is a parabolic flight?

A parabolic flight is one of the rare possibilities to generate microgravity. The Americans already introduced this technique in the 50s, whereas it is nowadays predominantly used for research purposes and the training for astronauts. The process of a parabolic flight is shown in details in figure 1. The aircraft rises at an angle of 47° where the gravity is almost double the amount of gravity on earth (1.8g). During microgravity you experience µg which is nearly 0g.

What I am doing exactly

I want to to find out, whether it is possible to trigger a rotation without pushing myself away from something. If I get to do it, I’ll be trying to find out what impulse is necessary to do so (Is it possible to trigger the rotation with my head only, for example). Furthermore, I will be recording the flight with a Go-Pro camera. I want to measure the time it takes me to do a rotation. Afterwards, I am going to compare the time needed with the rotational period on earth.

Why I need your support

A parabolic flight is extremely expensive; in my case CHF 8500. Given the fact that I am still in school, I would not be able to afford it without any additional financial support.

Infrastructure

The project «2nd Swiss parabolic flight» is organized and carried out by the Swiss Skylab Foundation and the leading parabolic flight organization Novespace. The aircraft used is the Airbus A310 Zero-G – Angela Merkel’s former private aircraft.

Motivation

Microgravity has always been a fascinating matter for me and since I started planning this project, I could not stop thinking about it. I still can’t imagine floating in the middle of a room and I am so excited to attend the flight.