NASA awards contract for microgravity aircraft services
The parabolic flights will provide the means to replicate the reduced gravity environment of space necessary for various areas of research to further NASA’s understanding of space travel. These areas include aeronautical research, fluid physics, combustion, material sciences and life sciences.
Additionally, work done during these flights will assist engineers in developing NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle, as well as contribute to improved flights for astronauts on the space shuttle and the International Space Station.
The microgravity aircraft will fly primarily out of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
The contract’s one-year base period, valued at $4.7 million, began on Jan. 1. Four one-year options could add just over $5 million per year to the fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract total.
These options could extend the period of performance to a total of five years, for an estimated $25.4 million.