Engineers, pilots, researchers and scientists convened in Bordeaux, France, for ESA’s 71st parabolic flight campaign. Over the course of three days they flew on a specially-fitted commercial aircraft, testing equipment and running research as the pilots put the plane through repeated parabolas, giving the passengers and their experiments brief bouts of microgravity.
ESA’s project coordinator Neil Melville introduces the experiments that flew on this campaign, from plasma to granular physics and heat pipes.
Parabolic flights are one of many platforms ESA offers for European researchers to run experiments for spaceflight. These flights are one of the few that allow the researchers to interact with their own experiments “hands-on” in a weightless environment. Send a proposal through our continuously open research announcements and you could be flying on the next campaign.