The European Space Agency (ESA) partnered with “Reves de Gosse” (Dreams for Kids), a French children’s charity, to give a group of disabled children the experience of a lifetime.
The ESA, like NASA but the Europe version, took the kids up in an Airbus A310 that is built to simulate zero gravity for space training. Children from France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the UK all participated in the flight.
Besides just being able to experience zero gravity, the children also were able to perform zero-G experiments with astronauts on the flight, such as lighting a candle, playing ping-pong, and blow bubbles with water.
“The ESA is delighted to support this initiative,” said ESA director general Jan Worner. “Educating and inspiring as diverse an audience as possible, including youth, on science and spaceflight is among our priorities and extending this outreach mission to children of all capabilities is doubly rewarding.”
Reves de Gosse has been working for over 20 years to bring “extraordinary” children (children with disabilities or illness) and “ordinary” children together working on aviation-related projects for education.
The zero gravity Airbus A310 flies in giant parabolic arcs to simulate the effects of weightlessness. NASA has a similar zero-G plane nicknamed the “Vomit Comet.”
Take a look at their extraordinary flight below!