Press Release

Documentary Film of Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flight Program for Teachers to Premiere in February

By SpaceRef Editor
February 4, 2009
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Documentary Film of Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flight Program for Teachers to Premiere in February

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Foundation announced today that the feature documentary film, “Inspire Me! Weightless Flights of Discovery,” will premiere Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m at the Northrop Grumman Theater at Space Center Houston. The film chronicles the Foundation’s successful Weightless Flights of Discovery science education program and features former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave and Professor Stephen Hawking.

The premiere screening will be followed by a panel discussion that will include several of the teachers who experienced weightless flights, filmmakers Brad and Sean McLain, and representatives of program sponsors Northrop Grumman and Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G).

For information and tickets for the event, please contact Patricia Moore of the Space Center Houston:

The Weightless Flights of Discovery program places teachers on micro- and zero-gravity flights to test Newton’s laws of motion so that the participants may energize students in their formative middle-school years. Selected teacher participants fly aboard a 727 aircraft that creates complete weightlessness, and lunar and Martian gravity environments in the plane’s cabin. The aircraft utilizes specially-cleared airspace by the FAA to fly unique parabolic patterns, which replicate the zero-gravity environment experienced in space.

The film documents the crisis affecting America science and technology education as it follows the journeys of several teachers who participated in the program. The film shows the teachers experiencing “zero-G” aboard the micro-gravity training aircraft and provides an inside look at the inspiration the teachers drew from their experiences and how the program impacted their teaching methods and their students.

Weightless Flights of Discovery was created by the Northrop Grumman Foundation in association with ZERO-G. The film was conceived by Brad McLain, senior education associate at the Space Science Institute, and produced by Acme Industrial Imagination of Burbank, Calif., and The Space Science Institute of Boulder, Colo.

“We are proud to partner with ZERO-G on the Weightless Flights of Discovery program and believe that by making space and microgravity concepts more accessible to educators and students, we will help inspire tomorrow’s engineers and scientists,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

As part of the Northrop Grumman Foundation’s mission to deliver outstanding educational programs and resources, the Weightless Flights of Discovery is currently in its fourth year. The program has conducted teacher workshops and parabolic flights in Atlanta; Baltimore; Bethpage, N.Y.; Chicago; Cleveland; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Dallas; Huntsville, Ala; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Los Angeles; New Orleans; Newport News, Va.; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. These workshops and flights helped prepare participating teachers to lead students in topics that relate to 30 National Science Standards.

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation is primarily focused on supporting diverse and sustainable programs that improve the educational experience for students, especially in the subjects of literacy, math, science and technology. Please visit or call (888) 478-5478.

About ZERO-G

Zero Gravity Corporation ( is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of space accessible to the public. ZERO-G is based in Las Vegas and Florida and is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flight to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government. For more information about ZERO-G, please visit or call 1-800-937-6480.

About The Space Science Institute

The Space Science Institute is a nonprofit organization that carries out world-class research in space and Earth science, together with innovative science education programs that inspire and deepen the public’s understanding of planet Earth and its place in the grander Universe. The institute’s integrated research and education programs span planetary science, space physics, astrophysics, astrobiology, and Earth science.

About Acme Industrial Imagination

Acme Industrial Imagination is a creative services content provider specializing in groundbreaking message delivery. Acme works with major film studios including Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Lucasfilm, Ltd., as well as other high profile entities such as The Former Texas Rangers Association, NASA, The Space Science Institute, The G-Eight World Summit and other organizations to bring unique filmed entertainment, themed environments, and exhibitions with targeted message delivery strategies to people everywhere.

CONTACT: Carissa Kwan
Northrop Grumman Corporation
(310) 201-3111

Paul Dusenbery
Space Science Institute
(720) 974-5822

Chris Jackson
Acme Industrial Imagination
(818) 252-1500

Natalie Mounier for ZERO-G
Kirvin Doak Communications
(702) 737-3100

SpaceRef staff editor.