News Overview

Where Innovation Takes Flight in Microgravity

Author: Switzerland Innovation
Photo Caption: Air Zero G © Alex Magnan/Airborne Films
Photo Caption: Air Zero G © Alex Magnan/Airborne Films

Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich, located within the confines of Dübendorf Air Base, is not your average innovation hub. It's a place where the boundaries of scientific exploration are pushed to new heights—quite literally.

One of the most intriguing facets of this innovation park is its role as a launchpad for scientific parabolic flight campaigns. These campaigns involve conducting research experiments in a microgravity environment. But what exactly are parabolic flights, and why are they significant?

Parabolic flights, often dubbed "zero-gravity flights," take researchers on a rollercoaster-like journey. The aircraft follows a sharp 45º angle trajectory, creating a unique experience. At the peak of this trajectory, passengers and experiments get to enjoy around 20 seconds of microgravity. The feeling is like floating in space.

Parabolic flights are the only way to test microgravity with humans without the need for extensive astronaut training and space station journeys. They're perfect for validating space instruments and preparing astronauts for space missions.

The utilization concept of the Swiss Parabolic Flights - shared use by universities, companies, and private individuals - is unique in Europe to date and offers a significant competitive advantage for Switzerland: The parabolic flights provide science and industry with cost-effective access to research and R&D projects in microgravity.

The flights are organized by the UZH space Hub together with the Swiss SkyLab Foundation, a non-commercial and non-profit scientific foundation. 

For those interested, these campaigns can be arranged through the Swiss SkyLab Foundation, chaired by Prof. Dr. Oliver Ullrich, who serves as the Full Professor and Director of the Innovation Cluster Space and Aviation at the University of Zurich (UZH Space Hub). 

Notably, in April 2024, the UZH Space Hub will relocate to Hangar 4 at the Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich.