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Hypogravity Research and Educational Parabolic Flight Activities Conducted in Barcelona: a new Hub of Innovation in Europe

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We report on different research and educational activities related to parabolic flights conducted in Barcelona since 2008. We use a CAP10B single-engine aerobatic aircraft flying out of Sabadell Airport and operating in visual flight conditions providing up to 8 seconds of hypogravity for each parabola. Aside from biomedical experiments being conducted, different student teams have flown in parabolic flights in the framework of the international contest ‘Barcelona Zero-G Challenge’, and have published their results in relevant symposiums and scientific journals. The platform can certainly be a good testbed for a proof-of-concept before accessing other microgravity platforms, and has proved to be excellent for motivational student campaigns.

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Many people have contributed over the years to these successful activities of Barcelona parabolic flights with single-engine aerobatic aircraft. In particular, the authors wish to thank all colleagues from the Aeroclub Barcelona-Sabadell and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) who have contributed to this venture. We are especially grateful to the pilots of the Barcelona-Sabadell Aeroclub Aerobatic Team for their skill in performing the maneuvers. We are likewise grateful to all the students and flight participants for their support and contribution. The voluntary involvement of ELGRA and ESA Education members, with Natacha Callens, Francisco J. Medina and Ricard Gonzalez-Cinca as coordinators of the student projects peer-review, also deserve our specific acknowledgement. Thanks are also due to Vladimir Pletser for fruitful discussions.

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Correspondence to Antoni Perez-Poch.

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This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Advances in Gravity-related Phenomena in Biological, Chemical and Physical Systems

Guest Editors: Valentina Shevtsova, Ruth Hemmersbach

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Perez-Poch, A., González, D.V. & López, D. Hypogravity Research and Educational Parabolic Flight Activities Conducted in Barcelona: a new Hub of Innovation in Europe. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 28, 603–609 (2016).

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