Dübendorf/Zurich - The sixth Swiss parabolic flight campaign by the UZH Space Hub and the Swiss Sky Lab Foundation is currently taking place at Dübendorf military airfield. A Cessna and an Airbus will perform special flight maneuvers, during which scientific experiments will be run in zero gravity.

The UZH Space Hub and Swiss Sky Lab, a foundation affiliated with the University of Zurich (UZH), are continuing with the sixth Swiss parabolic flight campaign until October 14. During this, specific flight maneuvers create a zero-gravity state. This enables scientific experiments to be performed without leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.

For a scientific parabolic flight, a pilot flies in a vertical parabola 31 times, during which the aircraft is in freefall for 22 seconds each time. This maneuver is intended to create zero gravity or simulate reduced gravity, such as that on the Moon or Mars.

According to a UZH press release, during this sixth parabolic flight campaign in Dübendorf, tests will be conducted for a new nanosatellite on behalf of the Academic Space Initiative Switzerland (ARIS). In addition, the program includes one experiment each on the development of autonomous drones for Mars exploration, on the subject of tissue production in zero gravity, and from fundamental research to examine the genomic code of gravity.

According to information from skynews.ch, the Airbus A310 ZERO-G used to date is expected to arrive on October 13. Prior to this, until October 7, a Dutch research aircraft will be used for the first time: the Cessna Citation II. Oliver Ullrich, UZH space medicine expert and director of the UZH Space Hub, stated that those involved wanted to offer highly flexible, cost-effective and quick access to microgravity with the small jet, adding: “This makes weightlessness highly accessible, almost like using regular equipment in a lab.”

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