Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've been selected for SpaceTec's Microgravity Training Program

When I was in college I participated in NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. It was an undergraduate team program where a we submitted a proposal to test an experiment in microgravity conditions. For two years in a row, our proposal was accepted and we were selected to perform the experiment in microgravity simulated by the KC-135 aircraft. I have been able to experience a total of 62 parabolas, weightless....AND IT WAS AWESOME!!! It's the closest I've been able to "feel" like an astronaut in space.

So a couple weeks ago, I saw that SpaceTec was accepting applications for their Florida Aerospace Microgravity Training Program. The Microgravity Training Program will include a mix of classroom, web-based, and in-flight training to introduce the selected applicants to the challenges of developing and operating systems in the weightless environment of space. Brevard Community College (BCC), SpaceTEC, a Florida-based national aerospace technical training center and Zero Gravity Corp (Zero-G) will develop and administer the training. I received an acceptance email this week, so expect updates as I receive them!!

Here's a picture of me from my college days in the weightless environment.


marcozambi said...

Dear Damaris,
step by step you keep goin' a little higher...
Good for you, I and my friends here hope always for the best ;)

Michael said...

Congratulations Damaris!
In your previous campaign, were you testing methods to withdraw cash in a weightless environment?
...You know...ATM....Ba Dum -Chaaa :-)

Greetings from Astronauticast!

Unknown said...

Woooow... that's cool.

I have a question: Having long hair is... comfortable in zero gravity? Sure it moves a lot and cover your face and you can't see :P

Paolo Amoroso said...

Mario: I guess long hair are not a major issue in microgravity. Have a look at the pictures posted to and linked from this forum discussion.

Paolo Amoroso said...

Damaris: waht experiments did you perform in your previous zero-g flights?

Anonymous said...

why wear so much make up?? must be a Texas A&M thing... people who went to UT wouldn't do that..

Anonymous said...

I too have been accepted to the program...AND am also in the MAS program at ERAU, with Space Studies & Human Factors as my specialization. I look fwd to meeting you. I am a Spacecraft Operator/Sr. Tech with USA.
Carmen Prater

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Carmen, I will see you in June! Pull me aside and say hi when you see me!

Damaris Sarria Toepel said...

Greetings Astronauticast!

I decided for the zero-g flight i will wear my hair down so it will be all over the place. You can see in the picture that just my short curls were sticking out! This should be exciting.

Paolo, the experiments we performed when I was in college was studying particulate matter collisions and obtaining video benchmarks of the collisions. You can browse the website at: