KENOSHA, Wisc. — Carthage College student Kyle Weber of Edwardsville recently conducted research aboard a NASA parabolic aircraft.
This is the seventh consecutive year the Carthage Microgravity Team has conducted research with NASA. The NASA Science Mission Directorate approved Carthage’s proposal to continue studying fuel-gauging technology in zero gravity through the Undergraduate Student Instrument Project.
The team’s work could help NASA devise a solution to one of the biggest barriers of deep space exploration. The type of fuel gauge used in vehicles on Earth doesn’t work in zero-g, so the team is working on one that could be used in future spacecraft and satellites.
The Carthage team traveled to the Johnson Space Center in Houston last month to fly its experiment aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder, a plane that provides periods of weightlessness by flying a series of parabolas over the Gulf of Mexico. The students constituted the only undergraduate team on a research flight that included researchers and engineers from Northwestern University, NASA-Glenn Research Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Carthage students have flown aboard the Weightless Wonder every year since 2008 while performing research with NASA engineers.