Researchers, teachers and students will have access to weightless and variable-gravity conditions under a new agreement between Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Zero Gravity Corp. (Zero-G).
Embry-Riddle and Zero-G will work together to integrate weightless flights and space science workshops for K-12 teachers, develop programs for high school and college students, and expand microgravity, lunar gravity and Mars gravity research opportunities aboard Zero-G’s G-Force One aircraft, according to university officials.
The collaboration includes Embry-Riddle’s support for development of the Stephen Hawking Microgravity Education and Research Center. The Hawking Center is an initiative of Space Florida, Florida’s aerospace development agency, conceived after the renowned astrophysicist flew aboard G-Force One earlier this year. Embry-Riddle’s student researchers are frequent flyers on NASA’s microgravity educational flights, according to university officials.
G-Force One, Zero-G’s specially modified Boeing 727 aircraft, offers the only FAA-approved weightless flight experience for the general public.
In other university news, Embry-Riddle Chancellor Thomas Connolly was recently presented the President’s Trophy, the highest award from the University Aviation Association (UAA).
Awarded annually, the President’s Trophy honors significant leadership in the UAA. Connolly has served as president of the UAA and as an elected member of the board of trustees. In 1990 he received the UAA Wheatley Award for outstanding contributions to aviation education.