WASHINGTON, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Flight Opportunities Program has selected 24 cutting-edge space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, balloons and a commercial parabolic aircraft.
Sixteen of the payloads will ride on parabolic aircraft flights, which provide brief periods of weightlessness. Five will fly on suborbital reusable launch vehicle test flights. Two will ride on high-altitude balloons that fly above 65,000 feet. One payload will fly on the suborbital launch vehicle and high-altitude balloon platforms. The flights will take place in 2012 and 2013.
Flight platforms include the Zero-G parabolic airplane, Near Space Corp. high altitude balloons and reusable launch vehicles from Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, UP Aerospace and Virgin Galactic.
"NASA's Flight Opportunities Program leverages investment in commercially available vehicles and platforms to enable new technology discoveries," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "These flights enable researchers to demonstrate the viability of their technologies while taking advantage of American commercial access to near-space."
Payloads selected for flight on a parabolic aircraft are:
-- "Microgravity Health Care," Scott Alexander Dulchavsky, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit
-- "Activity Monitoring During Parabolic Flight," Peter Cavanagh, University of Washington, Seattle
-- "Physics of Regolith Impacts in Microgravity Experiment," Josh Colwell, University of Central Florida, Orlando
-- "UAH CubeSat Parabolic Flight Testing," Francis Wessling, University of Alabama, Huntsville
-- "Fuel Mass Gauging Under Zero-G Environment Based on Electrical Capacitance Volumatric Tomography Techniques," Manohar Deshpande, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
-- "Microgravity Effects of Nanoscale Mixing on Diffusion Limited Processes Using Electrochemical Electrodes," Carlos Cabrera, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
-- "Effects of Reduced Gravity on Flow Boiling and Condensation," Issam Mudawar, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
-- "OSIRIS-REx Low-Gravity Regolith Sampling Tests," Joseph Vellinga, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Denver
-- "Parabolic Flight: Validation of Electro-Hydrodynamic Gas-Liquid Phase Separation in Microgravity," Boris Khusid, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark
-- "Parabolic Flight Evaluation of a Hermetic Surgery System for Reduced Gravity," George Pantalos, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
-- "Evaporative Heat Transfer Mechanisms within a Heat Melt Compactor Experiment," Eric Golliher, NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland
-- "Effects of Reduced and Hyper Gravity on Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Instrumentation," Greg Adamovsky, NASA Glenn
-- "Sintering of Composite Materials Under Reduced Gravity Conditions ("Cosmic" Project), Orazio Chiarenza, the Advanced Technical Institute, Fuscaldo, Italy
-- "Boston University Student Proposal for Deployable Solar and Antenna Array Microgravity Testing," Theodore Fritz, Boston University
-- "Particle Dispersion System for Microgravity Environments," John Marshall, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.
Payloads selected for flight on a suborbital launch vehicle are:
-- "Near-Zero Gravity Cryogenic Line Chilldown Experiment in a Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicle," Jacob Chung, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
-- "Collection of Regolith Experiment on a Commercial Suborbital Vehicle," and "Collisions Into Dust Experiment on a Commercial Suborbital Vehicle, Josh Colwell, University of Central Florida, Orlando
-- "Polar Mesospheric Cloud Imaging and Tomography Experiment," Jason David Reimuller, Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
-- "Vision Navigation System Technology Demonstration," Douglas Zimpfer, Draper Laboratory, Houston
Payloads selected for flight on a high altitude balloon are:
-- "Flight Demonstration of an Integrated Camera and Solid-State Fine Steering System," Eliot Young, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.
-- "Initial Flight Testing of a UAT ADS-B Transmitter Prototype for Commercial Space Transportation Using a High Altitude Balloon," Richard Stansbury, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
The "Structural Health Monitoring for Commercial Space Vehicles" payload from Andrei Zagrai of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, will fly on a suborbital launch vehicle and a high-altitude balloon.
NASA manages the Flight Opportunities Program manifest, matching payloads with flights, and will pay for payload integration and the flight costs for the selected payloads. No funds are provided for the development of these payloads. Other suborbital flight vendors on contract to NASA will provide flights after they have successfully flown their qualifying vehicles.
The Flight Opportunities Program, part of NASA's Space Technology Program, is managed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. manages the payload activities for the program.
For more information on the Flight Opportunities program, visit: