Science with(out) gravity  – parabolic flights

Science with(out) gravity – parabolic flights


07/02/2019 2:19 pm




Gravity affects everything we do on Earth but we know surprisingly little about how it works and how it affects life. Until recently scientists had no way of experimenting without gravity to understand what life would be like without it.

Research in space or with facilities on Earth that recreate aspects of space bring knowledge, discoveries and improvements to our daily life and further our exploration of the Solar System. 

ESA offers many platforms for conducting experiments across the whole spectrum of scientific disciplines. You can run an experiment in a sounding rocket, drop towers, centrifuges, Antarctica and even the International Space Station.

Parabolic flights are useful for short-duration scientific and technological investigations in reduced gravity. These flights are the only way to test microgravity with humans without going through lengthy astronaut-training and flights to the International Space Station. For this reason, parabolic flights are often used to validate space instruments and train astronauts before spaceflight.

Proposals for experiments are always welcome and can be submitted via the research announcement page:

Science is everywhere at ESA. As well as exploring the Universe and answering the big questions about our place in space we develop the satellites, rockets and technologies to get there. Science also helps us to care for our home planet. All this week we're highlighting different aspects of science at ESA. Join the conversation with #ScienceAtESA.

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