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Video Transcript:

What's the Vomit Comet ?

Phil: Have you ever wanted to flip off the gravity in the room - just like the lights? (He flips a fictional "gravity" switch off on the wall. An apple in his hand starts to float). Well, that's not going to happen!

You cannot escape earth's gravity anywhere near earth. But there ARE ways to float. You can experience weightlessness - by becoming an astronaut orbiting in a spaceship, riding a drop tower at an amusement park, or flying in this special NASA plane.

NASA's reduced gravity plane flies a path that looks like a big roller coaster - without the track! (animation of aircraft following a roller coaster path in the sky). Over the top, you follow a parabola and you float for about 25 seconds. Then the pilot pulls up, and you get about twice as heavy at the bottom. You do that over and over.

Boy that makes some people VERY, very sick. This plane's got a nickname - they call it the "Vomit Comet." And believe me; it's earned its reputation. Excuse me! (He floats off camera with a vomit bag in hand).

Announcer: To find out more about how astronauts train for spaceflight, check out nasa.gov.

 
Feedback/questions: brainbites@nasa.gov

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 12/07/2004
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