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SIMULATING WEIGHTLESSNESS

The C-9 jet is one of the tools utilized by NASA to simulate the gravity, or reduced gravity, that astronauts feel once they leave Earth. The C-9 jet flies a special parabolic pattern that creates several brief periods of reduced gravity. In this activity, students will study the flight pattern of NASA’s C-9 jet using their knowledge of pre-calculus and parametric equations.

Students will

- understand and write parametric equations that model the path of NASA’s C-9 jet;
- determine the distance and height of a projectile after t seconds;
- analyze given parameters to solve a real-life problem situation;
- find the maximum time and distance of one parabolic maneuver and interpret their significance; and
- use time as a parameter in parametric equations.

› Simulating Weightlessness TI-Nspire Educator Edition (PDF 324 KB)

› Simulating Weightlessness TI-Nspire Student Edition (PDF 238 KB)

› Simulating Weightlessness TI-Nspire Document (TNS 85 KB)

› Simulating Weightlessness TI-Nspire Solution Document (TNS 87 KB)

› VIDEO: NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity (13:35 minutes)