Press Release

CNES ready for 24th Airbus A 300 zero-G parabolic flight campaign

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2001
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CNES is conducting this week its 24th parabolic flight campaign on the Airbus A 300 zero-g based
at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, France.

This latest campaign, organized by CNES subsidiary Novespace, will serve as a platform for ten
science and technology experiments devised by French and European research scientists, to be
performed under microgravity conditions.

As part of its outreach efforts to promote youth science and technology, CNES also invites
youngsters to take part in these campaigns with their schools or through clubs, thus giving them
the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals. Three experiments have been
selected for this campaign and will be tested in near-weightlessness.

CNES organizes two parabolic flight campaigns a year. Researchers are regularly invited to submit
experiments for review and analysis. Flights mainly give them the chance to perform
investigations that prove impossible on the ground (because microgravity conditions “hide” the
parameter they wish to study). They also serve to develop equipment and new materials for use
by future missions on the International Space Station (ISS).

CNES’s next parabolic flight campaign is scheduled for March 2002. CNES has so far completed 22
flight campaigns on the Caravelle zero-g and the Airbus A 300 zero-g.

Press Contact

Eliane Moreaux – phone: +33 (0)5 61 27 33 44 – fax: +33 (0)5 61 28 21 47

E-mail: [email protected]

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EXPERIMENTS

LIFE SCIENCES

– Effect of lower body negative pressure (LBNP) on vectocardiography, electrocardiogram and
human hemodynamic parameters

P. Vaïda – Bordeaux II University

– Effect of microgravity on vestibulo-cardiovascular reflexes

Pr. Denise – Caen Medical School, France

– Effect of gravity on cardiovascular reflexes in rats

Pr. Denise – Caen Medical School, France

– Internal models for visio-motor coordination in near-weightlessness

Mc Intyre – LPPA, Paris

– Ergonomics studies for ISS 07 experiment

Mc Intyre – LPPA, Paris

– Behaviour and otolith asymmetry in small fish (larvae)

Dr H. Rahmann, Pr. R. Hilbig – Zoology Institute – Stuttgart University

FLUIDS AND MATERIALS

– Progra 2

J.B. Renard – LPCE – CNRS, Orléans, France

– Acoustically perturbed diffusion flame

C. Chauveau – I. Gokalp – CNRS – LCSR Orléans, France

– Study of diffusion flames in an oxidizing flow

P. Joulain – P. Cordeiro – CNRS – ENSMA Chasseneuil, France

– Vibratory phenomena in non-uniform media

Y. Garrabos – ESEME-CEA, Bordeaux, France

YOUTH EXPERIMENTS

– FROG: devised by five physics MSc students at Pierre & Marie Curie University, Paris VI. The
experiment aims to describe certain concepts in fluid mechanics, such as inertial forces and
surface tension, in an original way. The FROG project (Fluides en Rotation 0G) is looking to
develop an audiovisual teaching tool that associates theory and practical experiments intended
for a wide audience interested in physical sciences. Parameters reflecting the relevant laws of
physics will be highlighted directly by comparing results obtained in natural gravity conditions with
those obtained in microgravity.

– ICARE vision: this experiment has been devised by a team of five trainee engineers at IFITEP,
the electronic engineering training institute at Pierre & Marie Curie University, Paris VI. The project
focuses on electronics and robotics. The trainees have built an attitude control system for a
camera support. The camera can orient itself and maintain a moving target within its field of view.
Inertial disks are used to stabilize the support. What makes this project particularly interesting is
that free three-axis rotation in normal gravity conditions is not easily conceivable.

– IGORmass: measuring mass under near-weightless conditions is a recurring theme with
youngsters taking part in CNES’s parabolic flight campaigns. Microgravity poses a “weight”
problem that requires completely different measuring systems to those used under natural gravity
conditions, where mass is deduced directly by measuring weight (the force our body exerts on the
scales). In space, or more generally under microgravity conditions, it is impossible to measure
weight. The IGORmass project aims to test several systems for measuring mass: one system will
measure an object’s mass by studying the oscillation of a spring attached to it; a second system
will measure the centrifugal force of a rotating object; and a third system will use the principle of
the conservation of quantity of motion.

SpaceRef staff editor.