First Middle East Aircraft Parabolic Flights for ISU Participant Experiments

Abstract

Aircraft parabolic flights are widely used throughout the world to create microgravity environment for scientific and technology research, experiment rehearsal for space missions, and for astronaut training before space flights. As part of the Space Studies Program 2016 of the International Space University summer session at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, a series of aircraft parabolic flights were organized with a glider in support of departmental activities on ‘Artificial and Micro-gravity’ within the Space Sciences Department. Five flights were organized with manoeuvres including several parabolas with 5 to 6 s of weightlessness, bank turns with acceleration up to 2 g and disorientation inducing manoeuvres. Four demonstration experiments and two experiments proposed by SSP16 participants were performed during the flights by on board operators. This paper reports on the microgravity experiments conducted during these parabolic flights, the first conducted in the Middle East for science and pedagogical experiments.

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Acknowledgements

These experiments were conducted under the auspice of the ISU SSP16 Space Sciences Department. The hospitality of the glider club of Megiddo and its members is thankfully acknowledged. The active contribution and flying expertise of Arnon Yaffee, the chief pilot is highly acknowledged. All subjects are thanked for their voluntary participation and their dedication. Mrs Laurie Goldstein and Mrs Maria Lucas-Rhimbassen are also thanked for their support as well as Prof. em. David Degani and Mr Ofer Lapid. Vladimir Pletser is supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists (Grant No. 2016VMA042).

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Correspondence to Vladimir Pletser.

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Pletser, V., Frischauf, N., Cohen, D. et al. First Middle East Aircraft Parabolic Flights for ISU Participant Experiments. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 29, 209–219 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12217-017-9539-8

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Keywords

  • Aircraft parabolic flights
  • Microgravity experiments
  • Grob G-103 Twin II glider
  • International Space University
  • First microgravity flights in Middle East