Two Washington State University teams, each composed of four physics majors, will spend two weeks in March at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, doing experiments that require a near zero-gravity environment. NASA requests that each participating school recruit a reporter to accompany their teams. The program is scheduled for March 15-28, 1998.
The students will train for and then perform scientific experiments aboard NASA’s modified Boeing 707, which is used to train astronauts in weightlessness and was used for filming scenes for the movie Apollo 13. The plane, nicknamed the “Vomit Comet,” creates short periods of near-zero gravity by repeatedly flying a parabolic flight pattern of rapid ascents and descents. This will be the second trip to the program for two members of each team, who participated last year.
Reporters will need the same medical exam and physiological training as the students if they fly; but are not required to fly. In that case, they could provide ground-based coverage.
NASA prefers that reporters plan to be in Houston as long the students are there
(3/15 – 3/28), but this is not absolutely required. NASA is apparently providing low cost housing ($250 for the whole period). Travel and other expenses would be up to the reporter or employer.
Please see the attachments for information on the teams and their proposed experiments.