NASA Flight Opportunities Program PI Spotlight: Kevin Crosby

Kevin Crosby during a microgravity flight on G-FORCE ONE airplane.

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — With a half-dozen Flight Opportunities campaigns under his belt (including one currently underway — see Flights section above), Carthage College professor Kevin Crosby understands the value of the program. Through flight testing, he has been able to raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of his slosh control and propellant gauging technologies for spacecraft.

As head of the school’s Space Sciences program, Crosby blends his development of these technologies with powerful learning opportunities for his students. We spoke with Crosby about what he has learned during his years of flight testing and how those lessons apply to both students and the research community as a whole. 

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NASA Selects Promising Purdue Space Technologies for Commercial Flight Tests

Steven Collicott, Purdue University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, shown here in zero gravity, will have four projects under grants.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Faculty members in Purdue University’s schools of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Mechanical Engineering are among a list of 28 researchers whose technologies have been selected to receive funding under NASA’s Tech Flights solicitation.

Steven Collicott , professor of aeronautics and astronautics, will receive four separate grants totaling $1.8 million for four different experiments. Issam Mudawar, the Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will receive one grant in the amount of $649,851.

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NASA Selects 31 Promising Space Technologies for Commercial Flight Tests

by Nicole Quenelle
NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program

NASA has selected 31 promising space technologies for testing aboard parabolic aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and suborbital rocket-powered systems. By exposing the innovations to many of the rigors and characteristics of spaceflight – without the expense of an orbital flight – NASA can help ensure these technologies work correctly when they are deployed on future missions.

“By supporting suborbital flight testing, our Flight Opportunities  program aims to help ensure that these innovations are well-positioned to address challenges and enable NASA to achieve its lunar ambitions, while also contributing to a growing and vibrant commercial space industry,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). The Flight Opportunities program is part of STMD.

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Competition for Teachers to Host Weightless Science Class with Zero-G Corporation

G-FORCE ONE (Credit: Zero-G Corporation)

ARLINGTON, Va. (Zero-G PR) — How do you get (and keep) your students’ attention during a lesson? By testing the limits of gravity with a ride in the nation’s only weightless laboratory! Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) has announced plans for Mission: Microgravity, a nationwide competition for students and teachers of grades 8-12, that will award one educator with an out-of-this-world flight experience and a little extra classroom clout.

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Parabolic Flights Advance Space Technologies

G-FORCE-ONE

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — A recent series of parabolic flights onboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft demonstrated a variety of technologies selected by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program. The flight campaign consisted of two successful flights on March 21, 2018, lifting off from Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida.

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ZERO-G Provides Colleges Unique Opportunity for Microgravity Research


ORLANDO, Fla. – December 18, 2017
–  Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G®), the only FAA-approved weightless flight provider in the U.S, provided a microgravity test lab for collegiate research teams, most of which were funded by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. Students from seven colleges collected crucial data from their individual technologies in the microgravity environment made possible by the parabolic flight pattern of ZERO-G’s specially modified Boeing 727, G-FORCE ONE.

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ZERO-G Research Flights Advance Technology for Future Deep-Space Missions


ORLANDO, Fla,
April 6, 2017 (Zero-G PR) – As part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G®) recently worked with research groups from University of Florida, Carthage College and University of Maryland to validate technology designed to further humanity’s reach into space. A collection of flights on G-FORCE ONE, ZERO-G’s specially modified Boeing 727, gave researchers the chance to run experiments and test innovative systems in the only FAA-approved, manned microgravity lab on Earth.

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Zero G’s 727 Makes Emergency Landing in Florida

Zero G's G-Force One
Zero G’s G-Force One

Zero-G Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE 727 made an emergency landing on Thursday at Vero Beach Regional Aircraft in Florida after the pilots reported engine trouble.

The crew reported a possible engine fire. There were three people on board the aircraft when it landed safely.

Zero G, which is owned by Virgina-based Space Adventures, uses the aircraft to fly weightless parabolic arcs.

The aircraft recently returned to service after a nearly 18-month stand down. The aircraft’s original engines were repossessed by the company that leased them. The 727 also had to go through FAA certification due to changes made in the aircraft.











The Year in Commercial Space 2014 (Part II)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)
Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Second of 2 Stories

It was a busy year for a number of commercial space companies. While most of them made considerable progress, the news wasn’t all good.

A Dream Deferred

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) had a pretty rough year, losing out on two major contracts and laying off more than 100 employees.

On a Friday in May, just as everyone was preparing for the long Memorial Day weekend, Virgin Galactic announced it was dumping the hybrid rubber motor SNC developed for SpaceShipTwo in favor of a hybrid nylon one produced by Scaled Composites.

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Parabolic Flights Dropped From Ansari X Prize Anniversary Trip

Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity Kate Upton Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. (Credit: James Macari)
Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity
Kate Upton
Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. (Credit: James Macari)

The X Prize Foundation has suddenly dropped parabolic microgravity flights aboard Zero-G Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft from the itinerary of its $40,000 per person Ansari X Prize 10th anniversary trip.

Instead of floating around in zero g next Friday, participants will be sitting around listening to presentations from the “top Google Lunar X Prize teams.”

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X Prize Foundation Cashes in 10th Anniversary of SpaceShipOne Flights

peter_diamandis
Peter Diamandis

The X Prize Foundation has found several ways to cash in on the 10th anniversary of the winning of the $10 million Ansari X Prize next week.

In addition to offering $2,500 tickets to the anniversary luncheon next Saturday in Mojave, the organization has organized an exclusive four-day, $40,000 per person tour around the event.

“Take confidence in the fact that XPRIZE Chairman, Peter Diamandis, is personally curating these four days to make it one of the most extraordinary trips of your life!” the X Prize’s exclaims!

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Impact of Zero G’s Operational Problems on NASA

Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.
Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.

As you know, Zero Gravity Corporation provides parabolic flight services to NASA using a modified Boeing 727 aircraft. I asked the folks over at the space agency’s Flight Opportunities Program (FOP), which funds scientific and technical research projects on various vehicles, about what impact the company’s legal and operational problems have had or are having on NASA operations.

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Company Reposesses Zero G Aircraft Engines, Sues for Costs and Damages

Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity Kate Upton Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA Credit: James Macari
Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity
Kate Upton
Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA
Credit: James Macari

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The air cargo company that operated Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft ended its management services agreement (MSA) with the parabolic flight provider on  May 4, and subsequently repossessed the three jet engines it owns from Zero G’s Boeing 727, according to court records.

Amerijet also has sued Zero G for alleged breaches of the management services and engine lease contracts, seeing to recover unpaid fees, expenses and damages. Amerijet alleged that it is owed more than $127,000 in a July 10 court filing, which Zero G has disputed.

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