AstroAccess takes disabled participants on a zero-gravity plane


LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) – A group of participants with disabilities with AstroAccess, a company focused on promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in space travel, were fortunate to feel like they were floating in space .

Their first flight mission took place on Sunday.

“We actually flew off the coast of California to about 32,000 feet and performed 15 parabolic maneuvers in which we experienced the joy and wonder of microgravity,” said George Whitesides, co-project leader. from AstroAccess.

The participants practiced mobility, visual and sound cues.

“You know it was great to float and not look up from the ground. I don’t really look up from my chair anymore because I have an elevator, but for many years I didn’t have that, “said Dana Bolles, a participant in the flight.

Participants say the ability to go to space is available to more people now, so it’s important that it’s accessible to everyone.

“For the deaf community, I think that was a big challenge because when you try to connect to zero g you can’t stop. You move, so you sort of move while you talk and then you have to stop signing and push off the wall, ”said Apurva Varia, a flight participant.

Participants talked about what could be done to make space travel easier for people with disabilities.

“I think something that would be really useful is like a footrest which I think could have been a really useful design, especially one that I could adapt to my prosthetic leg,” said Mary Cooper, a participant in the flight.

All participants had a universal message for other people with disabilities.

“Don’t accept no if it’s something you really want to do because you can do it,” Bolles said.

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