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NASA Kicks Off Zero-G Competition for Students

Photo, NASA
Photo: NASA

NASA is hosting two national science competitions that challenge student teams to develop and prepare a microgravity experiment.

“Dropping In a Microgravity Environment,” or DIME, is the competition for high-school student teams. “What If No Gravity?” or WING, is the competition for student teams in sixth through ninth grades.

Both competitions are open to student teams across the United States and Puerto Rico. Teams may be formed from any type of organization or club. All teams must have an adult adviser, such as a teacher, parent or technical consultant.

A panel of NASA scientists and engineers will evaluate and pick the top-ranked proposals by Dec. 1. The winners then will design and build the experiments that will be conducted in the 2.2 Second Drop Tower at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. When an experiment is “dropped” into the 79-foot tower, it experiences weightlessness, or microgravity, for 2.2 seconds. Researchers worldwide use this tower to study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid dynamics, and to create new technology for future space missions.

The top four DIME teams will receive an all-expenses-paid trip in March to conduct their experiments, review the results with NASA personnel and tour Glenn’s facilities. All DIME participants visiting NASA must be U.S. citizens.

Four additional DIME teams and up to 30 WING teams will be chosen to build their experiments and ship them to Glenn to be drop-tested by NASA. These experiments and the resulting data will be returned to the teams so they can prepare reports about their findings.

Proposals are due Nov. 1.

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One comment

  1. I’d like to see the practical application of this technology. If the could create some type of weightlessness service or amusement park ride that the everyday consumer could enjoy. I wouldn’t mind experiencing a little microgravity every now and again.

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