There were several things that we needed to do to prepare ourselves for the flight. These things included briefings, taking the medicine, and getting our barf bags. We had the flight attendant come and speak to us. He told us about the life jackets, oxygen masks, and what we should do if we get sick. We were also given 2 barf bags to put in our pockets. These bags were plastic so they had us blow air into them and place the opening at the top of our pocket. This would allow the bags to be ready at a moments notice. The next step was taking the medicine. The medicine was completely optional but they highly recommended them. We had the option of taking the medicine in pill or shot form. The doctor or candy man (he said we could call him that) told us that most people do not feel the symptoms as bad if they have the shot. The symptoms include fatigue, headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and a few others. Before I came down here, I thought I would take the medicine in the pill form because I hate getting shots. After I heard this new information from the doctor, I decided to get the shot. The medicine was administered in different amounts depending on your weight. This made me feel better because I know with other medicines that I am given the adult amount I get the symptoms really bad. There were four different dosage options so I felt like everyone could get the amount that was right for their body. We received ear plugs and then loaded the plane around 9:00! I was extremely nervous to get the shot which helped to keep my mind off of the flight. The medicine was also helping me to relax.
We are leaving the building and about to go on G Force 1.
We are getting on the plane!!
Once we got on the plane, we sat in the seats that are in the back of the plane. They gave us mints for the ascend up and then the plane took off! We waited about 30 minutes before we reached the Gulf of Mexico. Once we got to the Gulf of Mexico, we were allowed to get out of our seats at set up our cameras, iTouch, and stop watch. We then got our lap or foot straps ready. We waited for the first parabola. We felt the plane ascending and then our bodies just lifted off of the floor! It was such a different sensation than I have ever felt before. My stomach felt like I was on a roller coaster but I was floating. It felt like I became a super hero who could fly. We got down to business on our research on the third parabola. We continued our research through parabola 27. We got a lot of data about the oscillations with the different film canisters. JoAnn was in charge of switching out and starting the oscillation. Maggie started the time and told us when to stop. I was in charge of counting the number of oscillations and recording them.
We got out our outreach items for parabola 28 through 32. I got out a little piece Nickelodeon Gak and it was floating!! I tried hitting it around and it stuck to my hand! For some reason, the Nickelodeon Gak got sticky. I also blew up a balloon and it blew out straight in front of me! My teammates brought a book to make "READ" posters. They also brought a parachute man, skittles, M&Ms, and a hovercraft. It was hard getting pictures of everything because the microgravity did not last very long and we both were floating around. It lasted up to 30 seconds each time. We did a total of 32 zero gravity parabolas. We then got to experience 4 parabolas in Lunar gravity and 4 parabolas in Martian gravity. So in total, we got to experience 40 parabolas!!! Usually they only do 30. It was my lucky day! During the Lunar and Martian gravity we tested the canisters labeled 1 and unknown. I also tried jumping during the Martian gravity. It was so weird to jump and float for a little bit before our feet hit the ground.
For those of you wondering, I did NOT vomit! I started to feel really hungry towards the end and that is when I started to feel nauseous. I was extremely bummed when we had to go back to our seats because I knew that the experience was all done. I already wanted to go on the next flight with the other half of my group. I cannot wait to do these experiments with my students and show them these videos and pictures to get them excited to learn!
Originally, the next group (Veronica, Amber, and Jamie) were suppose to go in the afternoon but again the weather interfered. They are scheduled to fly Friday morning at 9:30! I cannot wait for them to go and hear what they thought of the experience.