Parabolic flight experience
Cadets experience the effects of zero gravity on a modified Boeing 727 aircraft, which performs a series of parabolic flight patterns. At the top of the parabolic arc, power thrust is reduced, and weightlessness takes place. During a steep and gradual climb cadets experience twice the Earth’s gravity. In these moments, cadets perform designed zero-gravity experiments, demonstrating Newton’s Laws of Motion, experiencing free-axis environments, and seeing firsthand angular momentum properties.
SCUBA/neutral buoyancy training
Cadets experience the challenges of weightlessness by operating in a simulated space environment through scuba diving/neutral buoyancy training. Led by scuba-certified instructors, the training takes place at the Academy’s Preparatory School pool.
Rocket engine design and launch
Cadets learn about rocket engine design, production, and launch during a two-day intensive training that culminates in a rocket launching competition where cadets attempt to get their designs to a designated landing site.
Industry and military visits
Cadets study satellite communications, electronic and orbital warfare, and the space-based infrared system at various locations including Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station, Schriever Space Force Base, and Buckley Space Force Base.
At commercial industry partner sites students learn about advancements in global satellite positioning and examine the technologies of Dream Chaser, an advanced reusable lifting body spacecraft.