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Space Sciences

Microgravity Projects

Carthage students and faculty regularly conduct research aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft, as part of ongoing experiments and technology development for space hardware.

Microgravity Projects at Carthage are carried out in partnerships with NASA researchers, Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, and commercial service providers. Most projects involve a team of 4-6 students working throughout the academic year on the design, construction, and flight of an experimental spaceflight technology or low gravity experiment. We have flown more than 1,000 weightless parabolas on NASA and commercial research aircraft, including the NASA C-9 and Zero G Corporation G-Force One.

Current projects include propellant mass gauging technology development on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, active slosh suppression in propellant tanks using advanced magnetic alloys, and propellant “shape” studies in weightless environments. All projects are supported through NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, which provides researchers with access to launch opportunities, parabolic aircraft, and other test facilities.

Read more about the 2015 Microgravity project


Carthage Microgravity Team members Celestine Ananda and Nick Bartel fly a payload experiment on t...

Magneto-active Slosh Control (MaSC) (2018-present)

The MaSC project is a collaboration between Carthage Space Sciences and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to develop a free-floating membrane to suppress slosh in propellant tanks. The membrane is a thin magnetic alloy that is actively and autonomously controlled to suppress slosh forces occurring during engine burns and other spacecraft maneuvers.


Carthage Microgravity Team member Kim Schultz and NASA Engineer, Rudy Werlink work the MPG experi...

Modal Propellant Gauging (MPG) (2011-present)

The MPG project is a collaboration between Carthage Space Sciences and Kennedy Space Center Cryogenics Laboratory to develop a high-resolution low-gravity fuel gauging technology by exploiting the effect of fluid loading on the structural properties of liquid-filled propellant tanks.
Learn more about the MPG project


PHOTO DATE: 9-17-13LOCATION: Ellington Field - Zero-G Corp 727 SUBJECT: Reduced Gravity Office's ...

Next-generation Spacecraft Coolant (2013)

Carthage students supported the Purdue University Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment currently manifested for launch to the International Space Station in 2020. The Carthage team developed and flew an experiment to test the capability of radial membrane filters to remove oxygen from a perfluorohexane-based coolant in low gravity.
Learn more about the spacecraft cooling project


Three Carthage physics students conduct an experiment on NASA's zero-g plane to study propellant ...

Slosh in the Orion Service Module Propellant Tanks (2010)

In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Carthage students modeled the slosh dynamics of the Orion Service Module’s propellant tanks. We conducted both low-gravity flight-testing and extensive computer modeling of the slosh dynamics of propellant at different fill-levels.
Learn more about the propellant slosh project


2009 Reduced Gravity Student Opportunities Flight Program. Reduced-Gravity Flight aboard Zero-G C...

Microgravity Repose Angle of Lunar Regolith (2009)

In collaboration with NASA Glenn Research Center, Carthage students developed and carried out experiments to measure the repose angle of lunar regolith simulants in vacuum under lunar gravity conditions aboard NASA’s reduced gravity aircraft.
Learn more about the repose angle project


Dust in the Wind: Low-gravity Inertial Filtration of Lunar Dust (2008)

Carthage worked with NASA Glenn Research Center to develop a test bed for demonstrating the use of a cyclone filter for regolith dust filtration in future spacecraft and planetary habitats. The project demonstrated the effectiveness of vortex filters in lunar gravity. 
Learn more about the dust filtration project

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    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

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    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

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