The Vomit Comet ft. Emily Calandrelli | EXPERT ANSWERS PHYSICS GIRL QUESTIONS | Summary and Q&A

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September 5, 2014
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The Vomit Comet ft. Emily Calandrelli | EXPERT ANSWERS PHYSICS GIRL QUESTIONS

TL;DR

Emily Calandrelli, aerospace grad and host of "Exploration Outer Space," shares her experiences flying in the Vomit Comet and provides insights on how others can participate in zero gravity flights.

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Key Insights

  • 🍰 The Vomit Comet provides short periods of weightlessness at the top of its parabolic flights, simulating zero gravity.
  • πŸ’₯ Safety is a top priority on the Vomit Comet, with measures in place to prevent collisions and injuries during weightless periods.
  • πŸ‘Ύ Emily Calandrelli conducted research experiments in zero gravity, focusing on topics such as fractals and cooking in space.
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€ The experience of flying in the Vomit Comet gives individuals a taste of the microgravity that astronauts encounter in outer space.
  • ✈️ Participating in a zero gravity flight can be a costly endeavor, requiring several thousand dollars to cover the expenses.
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€ Astronauts consider the view and the microgravity experience as the most exciting aspects of space exploration.
  • πŸ’₯ Tumbling and flailing in weightlessness can result in unintentional collisions with fellow passengers on the Vomit Comet.

Transcript

You've heard of the zero G plane, right? The one that flies and does parabolas and makes you feel weightless, the one that Kate Upton did her photo shoot on? Yeah, that one. Well, I got the chance to chat with the Vomit Comet veteran. Emily Calandrelli is an aerospace grad from MIT. She also has a new show coming up on Fox in the fall called "Explo... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Vomit Comet create weightlessness?

The Vomit Comet flies in parabolic motion, creating short periods of weightlessness at the top of each parabola. This sensation is similar to going over a hump on a roller coaster.

Q: Is zero gravity truly achieved in the Vomit Comet?

While the Vomit Comet provides microgravity experiences, it's never perfectly zero gravity. There is always a small amount of gravity present, indicated by a scale in the plane.

Q: What is it like to be weightless in the Vomit Comet?

When experiencing weightlessness, there is nothing to push off from, resulting in a feeling of tumbling in the middle of the aircraft. People often try to bicycle kick to control their orientation, although it proves ineffective.

Q: How can someone participate in a zero gravity flight?

To fly on the Vomit Comet, individuals can apply online through NASA's undergraduate or graduate program. If selected, they will be flown to Houston for the experience, but it does come with a significant cost.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Emily Calandrelli, host of "Exploration Outer Space" and an aerospace grad, discusses her experiences flying in the Vomit Comet, a plane that provides short periods of weightlessness.

  • The Vomit Comet flies in parabolic motion, creating waves of weightlessness and twice the gravity.

  • Emily emphasizes the importance of safety on the Vomit Comet and shares details about her own research experiments conducted in zero gravity.

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