Harrison High School science teacher Chris Crum put on a flight suit and floated weightlessly aboard a parabolic (vomit comet) flight in Florida with Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Professor Steven Collicott.
“It was unlike anything I have ever experienced,” says Crum. “The sensation of floating was truly a bizarre and amazing feeling.” He met astronaut Steve Robinson who explained that a person’s natural reaction in zero gravity is to swim.
Crum shared photos and video of his experience with his students: “My first six parabolas were of one-third (Martian) and one-sixth (Lunar) gravity before completing 30 zero gravity parabolas. I believe students enjoy seeing their teachers learning new things, just like they do.”
Crum has been teaching for 24 years, 15 years in the TSC. He has a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s College. The trip was made possible through a grant from NASA.
As far as future flight endeavors, Crum says he will leave space flight to the astronauts. “Although my experience was certainly once in a lifetime, I prefer to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground.”