NNU engineering students ready to fly on “Vomit Comet”

March 18, 2011, 12:00 pm

Northwest Nazarene University’s team of engineering students, nicknamed Team Super-Hydro, are preparing to leave on March 28 to fly with NASA’s Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities and Systems Engineering Educational Discovery (SEED) programs.

The NNU team will join other selected teams March 31-April 9 to test and evaluate their experiments aboard a NASA aircraft modified to simulate a reduced-gravity environment. The aircraft will fly approximately 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips during experiment flights to produce periods of weightlessness and hyper-gravity ranging from 0 g to 2 g.

Team Super-Hydro’s experiment tests new super hydrophobic (water repellent) materials in a reduced-gravity environment while using high speed cameras.

Sophomore Kevin Halle (Edmonds, Wash.) said, “I’ve always wanted to feel what it is like to be weightless. The fact that we get to test a new material in zero gravity is really exciting. The material is a huge breakthrough in super water repellent materials, and we get the privilege of helping to find more uses.”

Left to right: Jesse Baggenstos (Renton, Wash.), Weston Patrick (Wasilla, Ala.), Chad Larson (Medford, Ore.), Kevin Halle (Edmonds, Wash.), Grady Turner (Nampa, Idaho), Jordan Hush (Boise, Idaho) and Dr. Stephen Parke.

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