BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team of University at Buffalo students, all
members of the UB student chapter of the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics, was selected by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration to spend a week in Houston in
June at NASA's Johnson Space Center to test an experiment the
students had designed in simulated weightlessness.
The UB team was one of just 14 selected from more than 70
proposals solicited nationwide, based on scientific merit and
education outreach potential.
NASA chose the UB students to participate in its Reduced Gravity
Education Flight Program, which gives teams of undergraduate
students from across the nation the opportunity to propose, design,
build, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment.
The UB students who participated are:
Bradley Booth, a sophomore, of Mohawk
Sandra Czarnecki, a sophomore, of Athens
Thomas Guile, a sophomore, of Coxsackie
Nikeale Haynes, a sophomore, of Brooklyn
Carl Javier, BS, '10, of Flushing
Dave Pohl, a senior, ofWest Seneca
Nathan Roscup, BS, '10, of Remsen
John Sisti, a senior, of Orchard Park
From June 17-26, the UB students tested their experiments aboard
NASA's "Weightless Wonder," a microgravity aircraft that can
produce periods of weightlessness lasting 18 to 25 seconds at a
time by flying a series of about 30 parabolas, a steep climb
followed by a free fall, over the Gulf of Mexico.
The students spent last semester preparing for the experiment,
doing the scientific and mathematical work to develop their
research, entitled, "Relative Attitude Determination for Satellite
Formation Flying." At the same time, they also were required to
write proposals to attract grants, scholarships and sponsors in
order to support their work.
"We learned a lot about being team players and meeting project
deadlines and we learned to write engineering reports in order to
explain our experiment to the NASA engineers," says UB team
captain, Nathan Roscup. "During the experiment, we also learned how
our bodies, or stomachs I should say, react to zero gravity," he
John Crassidis, PhD, UB professor of mechanical and aerospace
engineering, and Richard Linares, a graduate student in the
department, are the team's advisors.
The team's project included an outreach effort to students at
South Park High School in Buffalo in which the UB students gave a
presentation on career opportunities, college majors and
scholarship programs. They also gave a paper airplane demonstration
to teach the students some principles of aerodynamics.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.