This paper discusses the subject of weightlessness. This subject is gained by the use of a specially modified KC-135A aircraft as described by journalist Glenn Zorpette. This paper discusses training requirements prior to an individual's flight in the aircraft. The main topic discusses how weightlessness is obtained in the aircraft. This paper closes with mental and physical reactions caused by the flight. .
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have a modified KC-135A aircraft, which is used to demonstrate weightlessness. The popular KC-135A is known as the "vomit comet" and is usually used to train astronauts. About 80 percent of the aircraft's flights are conducted in support of research and engineering. A good amount of this research comes from undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. This paper covers a team of undergraduates, and a journalist through this once in a lifetime experience. While trying to overcome the physical changes of the flight, the undergraduates will be conducting personal experiments. Reporter Glenn Zorpette tags along for the flight as a journalist. The article, "A Taste of Weightlessness", talks about this experience. Like most industrial tasks, training and familiarization is required before completing it. The group of undergraduates and journalist Zorpette all had to complete the training.
Before the crew could fly, they have to survive a day of lectures, physiological training, and mental testing. The training started with a lecture on emergency breathing equipment and hypoxia. This training is required if the aircraft loses cabin pressure. Most humans have a conscious time of three to five minutes while experiencing hypoxia. The new fliers are told that their bodies will go through reactions they've never gone through before. For example, their eyes will tell them they are not moving, while their vestibular system will tell them different.