Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Experience: Roxanne Stone


Before Flight Expectations

Today is Wednesday, June 11th.

My morning started with a team lead meeting at 7:45am like it has all flight week. Except today it was different, it not only started with the Geico "Hump Day" commercial, but at the end the director of the Reduced Gravity Office said "it's also flight day."

After every engineering challenge, not only in Houston, but throughout the last year I just feel pure excitement to have finished our experiment and have this opportunity.

 As Cady Coleman said this morning -- "What can go wrong, always does and will" and after feeling like it all went wrong, our Experimental Apparatus is loaded on the plane and ready to collect real data. 

I'm so excited to be able to test our experiment and experience zero gravity that words cannot truly describe my feelings.


Post Flight Reflection

WOW -- What an amazing hump day!

With each parabola (or hump in today's case) my body changed with the gravitational changes. 

As the engines of the plane roared and the plane climbed to the top of the parabola, gravity increased and my body was pulled down by such a strong force I couldn't move any part of my body. The only thing to compare it to is the Graviton Ride at the fair. 

Then the engines would become quiet as the plane nosed down the parabola and my body would release from the floor of the aircraft. The feeling of floating and having the ability to fly or sore through the air is amazing. Every little movement of my body created a force stronger then the gravitational force I was surrounded by. I have nothing to compare this feeling to, it was truly amazing and a one of a kind experience. 

On top of the great experience, our experiment collected good data!!!

Thank you RGO, Dr. Leimkuehler, and Dr. Barney Smith for never giving up on this team and project!! This is a great program and learning experience for undergraduates and I will carry these lessons and memories with me forever.