Accelerations Aboard the NASA KC-135

Accelerations Aboard the NASA KC-135

During the typical 30s microgravity flight maneuvers of the NASA KC-135 aircraft, it is essential that pitch and power requirements are strictly adhered to in order to provide a laboratory space within an aircraft that is free of inertial accelerations. Thrust must precisely offset drag, which at first diminishes, then increases with passage through the apex of the parabola. During the maneuver, the pitch angle of the aircraft changes from approximately +45 deg to a -45 deg, causing a torque at every station except at the aircraft’s center of mass.

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