Flight mechanics experiment onboard nasa’s zero gravity aircraft

Kyle R. Matthews, Samira A. Motiwala, Donald L. Edberg, Eduardo Garcia-Llama


This paper presents a method to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through participation in a reduced gravity program with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Microgravity programs with NASA provide students with a unique opportunity to conduct scientific research with innovative and creative solutions through hands-on experimental design and testing in reduced gravity conditions. A group of undergraduate students from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, participated in the NASA’s SEED (Systems Engineering Educational Discovery) Reduced Gravity Program, which focuses on addressing systems engineering challenges in microgravity. The team worked with a NASA Principal Investigator on a project to build and fly a prototype test article to demonstrate emergency atmospheric reentry with single-axis control. Through this experience, the team was able to gain hands-on experience with spacecraft instrumentation and learn valuable lessons in teamwork and systems engineering that can be applied to real-world situations. As part of the SEED program, the team shared its experience with local high schools in order to spark interest in STEM-related fields in the next generation of scientists and engineers.


NASA Microgravity University, STEM, SEED, reduced gravity program, zero gravity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jotse.26

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Technology and Science Education, 2011-2021

Online ISSN: 2013-6374; Print ISSN: 2014-5349; DL: B-2000-2012

Publisher: OmniaScience