Suborbital Flight Opportunities for Small Spacecraft Technologies
NASA's Flight Opportunities Program is extending the proposal submission deadline to January 17, 2013 for the next selection of projects to fly on parabolic aircraft flights, high altitude balloon flights, and suborbital flights (AFO #6). The parabolic aircraft flights provide 25-second periods of microgravity that are repeated up to 40 times on each flight. During those periods of microgravity, subsystems or entire small spacecraft can be tested inside the aircraft cabin. Likewise, high-altitude balloon and suborbital flights can expose test units to an external environment approaching the conditions of space. Proposals will be selected based on their merit, as described in the solicitation, and although no funding is provided for project or payload development, the flight opportunity is provided at no cost to the research team. This could be an excellent opportunity for small spacecraft technology teams with relatively mature hardware to validate their systems in near-space conditions. It could also provide an opportunity to test new innovations in spacecraft design. We encourage you to consider this opportunity.
For more information please see: https://flightopportunities.nasa.gov/afo
The photos here show several small spacecraft technology research projects on previous parabolic aircraft flights.
The article at the link below includes some examples of recent parabolic flight-testing that involved small spacecraft technology.