The European Space Agency (ESA) and Novespace, subsidiary of CNES, offered a weightless experience to 8 disable kids, with the help of the association organizing the “Rêves de Gosse” (Kids’ dreams) event.
The kids came from five ESA member states – UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy – and boarded the converted Airbus A310 Zero G in Bordeaux, France on 24 August as part of this “Kid’s Weightless Dreams” flight. True weightlessness is produced in the large cabin area of this aircraft during repetitive parabolic maneuvers, as in the Air Zero G flights operated by Novespace.
The children also took part in education experiments including lighting a candle, mixing liquids of different densities, playing ping-pong with bubbles of water and working a fidget spinner to demonstrate the effects of weightlessness.
Joining the children were ESA astronauts from their corresponding member states: Tim Peake (UK), Frank De Winne (Belgium), Maurizio Cheli (Italy), Thomas Reiter (Germany), Claudie Haigneré, member of the National Academy of technologies of France and Jean-Francois Clervoy (France) mentored the children on board and answered their questions.