Sixteen payloads have been selected by NASA for flights in the commercial Zero-G parabolic aircraft and two suborbital reusable launch vehicles as part of the Flight Opportunities Program.
The Flight Opportunities Program develops and provides opportunities for space technologies to be demonstrated and validated in relevant environments.
In addition, these flights foster the development of the nation's commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry.
Through our Flight Opportunities Program, NASA is able to align research and technology payloads with commercially-available flights to mature technologies that will benefit America's future in space, said Bobby Braun, NASA chief technologist.
The payloads and teams from ten states and the District of Columbia were selected from applications received in response to a NASA call issued last December. Of the payloads, 12 will ride on parabolic aircraft flights; two on suborbital reusable launch vehicle test flights; and two on both platforms.
The commercial Zero-G aircraft payloads will fly during a weeklong campaign from Houston's Ellington Field in mid-July. The suborbital reusable launch vehicle payloads will fly on the Xaero, developed by Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif., and the Super Mod, developed by Armadillo Aerospace of Heath, Texas.
This program allows researchers, technologists and innovators to help NASA meet our future mission needs while infusing new knowledge and capabilities into our nation's universities, laboratories and space industry, said Bobby Braun.
The selected payloads will fly on test flights scheduled throughout 2011. Among them a few payloads to fly on both platforms are,
--Crew-Autonomous Biological Telemetric experiment from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, co-PIs
--Advanced, Two-Phase, Space Heat Exchangers Design Tools experiment from the University of Maryland, College Park; Jungho Kim and Serguei Dessiatoun, co-PIs
--Radio Frequency Mass Gauge experiment from Glenn; Gregory Zimmerli, PI
--Monitoring Radiation-Induced DNA Degradation from Kennedy; Howard Levine, PI
--EHD-Pumped Two-Phase Loops experiment from the Air Force Research Laboratory and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; Greg Busch, Sam Sinnamon and Andrew Williams, co-PIs
--Electric Field Effects on Pool Boiling Heat Transfer experiments from the University of Maryland and University of Pisa, Italy; Jungho Kim and Paolo DiMarco, co-PIs.