News

UH Cougarnauts Take a Ride on the Vomit Comet

By: 

Melanie Ziems
Members of the UH Cougarnauts team experienced almost zero-gravity in NASA's "Vomit Comet"
Members of the UH Cougarnauts team experienced almost zero-gravity in NASA's "Vomit Comet"

Houston’s ABC13 KTRK news station followed some University of Houston students into outer space this November – or, at least into zero gravity. The UH “Cougarnauts” team, comprised of Cullen College of Engineering students, were chosen as part of an elite group to participate in NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, where they performed an assigned experiment during 25-second bouts of weightlessness in NASA’s reduced gravity aircraft: the “Vomit Comet.”

The Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program is intended to increase minority student interest in math and sciences fields.

KTRK cameras accompanied the students on their mission, during which the plane flies over the Gulf of Mexico and performs nine free-falls, which creates a sensation as close to zero-gravity as possible on Earth. “It was amazing. Time went by fast, it was so much fun. We learned so much,” said Aashini Patel, UH Biomedical Engineering major. The UH students studied the effects of freezing water in zero-gravity conditions.

According to KTRK reporter Kevin Quinn, NASA expects that these experiments could play into the design and implementation of its next generation spaceships.

Department/Academic Programs: 

Related News Stories

Cullen College of Engineering posts new 6-Year graduation high mark

The six-year graduation rate for the Cullen College of Engineering is 71.2 percent for students that began in Fall 2014, the fourth year in a row it has increased.

The Cullen College of Engineering has set a new record for its six-year graduation rate, hitting a mark of 71.2 percent for students that began in Fall 2014, according to new information released by the department's Division of Undergraduate Programs and Student Success.

Class of 2020 honored with virtual graduation celebration

Michelle Gale.

The fortitude of the Cullen College of Engineering's Class of 2020 was proudly celebrated by the university community on May 7, with a 90-minute virtual graduation celebration, featuring remarks from University of Houston leadership, a commencement speaker and most importantly, the graduating students.