DLR Pursues Zero G Research Opportunities on Parabolic Flights

DLR Zero G Flight Campaign 2009

As the Airbus moves through the upper part of this curve, weightlessness occurs for a short period – up to 22 seconds. Parabolic flights provide scientists with a unique opportunity to conduct their experiments in weightless conditions without actually having to fly into space.

Since DLR’s research aircraft fleet does not include a parabolic flight aircraft, Ulrike Friedrich works with a commercial provider. DLR buys parabolic flight campaigns from French company Novespace, which in practice means that it buys flight time on the Airbus A-300 ZERO-G. Novespace provides the aircraft and its crew, and it assists the scientists in setting up their biological, medical or physics experiments inside the Airbus and in carrying them out safely.

Ulrike Friedrich organises one or two of these parabolic flight campaigns every year. Scientists working on basic and applied research topics who need to conduct their investigations in weightless conditions are offered the chance to participate. A large number of institutes associated with universities, with DLR itself and with other research institutions are potential users of the campaigns.

Read the full story.