NASA has selected 14 undergraduate student teams from minority serving institutions across the United States to test science experiments under microgravity conditions.
The teams will fly Nov. 1-8, as part of a collaborative effort between the agency’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Project.
The teams design and build the experiments at their home campuses. The experiments are then transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for tests aboard an aircraft modified that mimic a reduced-gravity environment. The aircraft will fly approximately 30 parabolas with roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of weightlessness and hyper-gravity ranging from 0 to 2g’s.
The experience includes scientific research, experimental design, test operations and outreach activities. It supports NASA’s strategic goal of sharing the agency’s missions and programs with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate in its mission and foster innovation.
The 2013 MUREP teams are from Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University, Huntsville, Ala.; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Calif.; Gadsden State Community College, Gadsden, Ala.; Howard University, Washington; Morehouse College, Atlanta; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas; San Antonio College; San Antonio College (Hephaestus Engineering); San Jacinto College North, Houston; Texas Southern University, Houston; Tuskegee University in Alabama; University of Houston; University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, and University of Texas at El Paso.
NASA is committed to the recruitment of underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to sustain a diverse workforce. Participation in NASA projects and research stimulates students to continue their studies at all levels of the higher education continuum and earn advanced degrees in these critical fields.
For more information about the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, visit http://reducedgravity.jsc.nasa.gov.