NASA Moves 'FAST' For Reduced-Gravity Flight Testing Tech Projects

WASHINGTON -- NASA selected 17 technology demonstration projects for
reduced-gravity aircraft flights to demonstrate whether emerging
technologies can perform as expected in the reduced-gravity
environment of the moon and Mars, or the zero-gravity environment of
Earth orbit.

NASA selected the projects through its Facilitated Access to the Space
Environment for Technology program, or FAST. The selected projects
are from U.S. companies, universities and NASA laboratories from 10
different states. NASA will begin flying the projects during the last
week of September.

The program is designed to incorporate new technologies into NASA's
flight programs and other commercial aerospace applications.
Reduced-gravity conditions can be simulated for periods of 25 seconds
in an aircraft flying repeated parabolic trajectories.

The FAST program can reduce the risk of using new technologies during
space missions by providing an opportunity to prove how they work in
a reduced-gravity environment. The flights also can provide insight
into why some technologies may fail before deploying them on a costly
ride into the unforgiving environment of space.

The selected projects will address challenges such as monitoring human
health, managing liquid propellants in zero gravity, maneuvering
vehicles, assembling structures and manufacturing in space. Other
experiments will test components for new types of space propulsion,
life support systems and tools for advanced biology research. Several
projects deal with methods to process resources on the moon.

NASA will provide no cost, reduced-gravity flight time for the project
test teams. The teams will be responsible for all other expenses.
This is the third year of FAST flights, which will again use a
commercial aircraft under NASA's Microgravity Services Contract. The
aircraft will fly approximately 40 reduced-gravity parabolas for four
days this fall, operating from Ellington Field in Houston.

The Reduced Gravity Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston
will oversee the test operations. NASA's Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland will provide support to the project teams.

For a complete list of the 17 selected projects, their associated
leading organizations, partners and information about previous FAST
flights, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


Source: NASA

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