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Debbie V. Nguyen
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Staci Johnson
Headquarters, Washington
202- 358-7232

Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington
202- 358-1761

RELEASE : J06-072
NASA's "Weightless Wonder" Hosts Experiments
NASA has selected six proposals from museums and science centers to fly their experiments aboard NASA's "Weightless Wonder," a C-9 aircraft that flies a series of rollercoaster-like dips and climbs to produce periods of weightlessness.

The selected institutions have partnered with their local communities to propose and design experiments for NASA's new Reduced Gravity Museum and Science Center Flight Opportunities Program. The museums and science centers promote science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education careers to students in their neighborhoods.

The program began with a successful test flight in 2004. This year, six teams from across the country will fly during the summer from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Museums and science centers will have similar opportunities available annually.

"Museums and science centers engage students and the community to learn about science and space. Through this program, participants will have a chance to experience the same processes used by NASA researchers to fly experiments in space and bring that experience back to their communities," said Chuck Lloyd, Program Manager for NASA's Human Health and Performance Education at Johnson. This is a part of NASA's Informal Education program.

NASA's informal education efforts provide stimulating experiences for learning outside of formal classroom environments. Our nation's museums and science centers use NASA content to inspire youth and engage them in NASA's mission.

The selected teams, their experiments, and the dates they will arrive in Houston to begin their flights are:

- July 6: The St. Louis Science Center in Missouri -- Testing Gene Expression in Reduced Gravity through Microarray Technology

- Aug. 3: Boonshoft Museum in Dayton, Ohio -- Emergency Severe Wound Containment/Treatment Device Evaluation: An Effective Deployment Feasibility Experiment

- Aug. 3: Hands On! Regional Museum, Johnson City, Tenn. -- The Sustainability of a Spherical Soap Film (Bubbles) in Microgravity

- Aug. 3: McWane Center, Birmingham, Ala. -- Effects of Microgravity on Fluid Distribution in a Porous Material

- Aug. 10: The Coca Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, Ga. -- Predicting Heat Flow in Microgravity

- Aug. 10: Space Center Houston -- Fluid Dynamics in Flight.

For information about the Reduced Gravity Museum Flight Opportunities Program, visit:

For information about NASA's education programs, visit:

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