In a time when we hear daily developments from tech giants on-going projects such as Google’s driverless cars, Elon Musk’s rocket fuelled inter-city travel and Dubai’s police force using jetpacks it’s easy to believe that commercial space travel is just around the corner.
Sadly for most of us it’s going to be some time before we can experience space travel and zero gravity, however there are certain ways in which we can emulate these effects on earth. One of those is methods, used by space agencies around the world, is riding in one of the few converted Airbus A310s which are flown in repeated parabolic arcs to simulate the effects of zero gravity without ever having to visit space.
For eight lucky kids and two adults living with disabilities, this dream became a reality in August when they were given the opportunity to ride one of the aforementioned converted Airbus A310s.
Organized by Rêves de Gosse, who work to bring “extraordinary” and “ordinary” children together to work on aviation education projects, alongside European Space Agency (ESA) and Novespace, subsidiary of CNES, this year’s project culminated in a weightless flight.
Organisations from five ESA member states selected the children, who were joined by astronauts from their corresponding member states: Tim Peake (UK), Frank De Winne (Belgium), Maurizio Cheli (Italy), Thomas Reiter (Germany), Claudie Haigneré and Jean-Francois Clervoy (France) mentored the children on board and answered their questions.
Simply floating was not enough for these kids, who took part in various experiments whilst weightless.
ESA director general Jan Wörner joined the Kid’s Weightless Dreams flight: “ESA is delighted to support this initiative. Educating and inspiring as diverse audience as possible, including youth, on science and spaceflight is among our priorities and extending this outreach mission to children of all capabilities is doubly rewarding.”
Dreams do come true! Share this if you or your friends have intergalactic dreams! ?