Flying with NASA

Carthage’s space sciences program is a nationally recognized undergraduate program that provides students with hands-on opportunities in technology development and atmospheric sciences through partnerships with NASA and academic researchers around the world.

Often, those “hands-on opportunities” are feet-up opportunities. Carthage students have spent more time in zero g than the first astronaut in space.

Carthage students and faculty regularly conduct research aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft. The zero g plane provides periods of weightlessness by repeatedly climbing to 35,000 feet, free-falling 10,000 feet, and climbing again.

It’s the ultimate roller coaster ride — but they’re also doing real science. The Carthage Microgravity Team is working on a novel method of measuring fuel in zero gravity, a project NASA selected as key for the development of long-range space exploration.

In other space sciences projects, Carthage students are designing, building, and launching payloads on NASA suborbital rockets, and building from scratch a groundbreaking new satellite that will eventually provide multispectral images of Earth.