| Updated at: 1116 PST, Monday, November 21, 2011|
LONG BEACH: "Excited," "nervous," "terrified" - just three emotions described by a group of US teachers about to take a dizzying "weightless" flight all for the cause of science, naturally.
The 30 classroom professionals donned blue "astronaut" jumpsuits to defy gravity in the skies above California, in a project designed to help them capture the imagination of young science students.
On the back of her jumpsuit, teacher Michelle Luke taped a drawing made by her pupils at Manhattan Beach Middle School, southwest of Los Angeles, showing two figures taking a giant weightless leap into space.
But with only a couple of hours to go before the flight, her smile was still a little tense.
During the flight - in which a specially-decked out plane does a series of parabolic climbs and dives, the only way to experience weightlessness without going into space -- the body is subject to 1.8 G forces.
That makes the body feel nearly twice as heavy as it is - the downside in the steep climb phase, before participants fly up off the floor, shrieking as they float around the cabin like astronauts in the International Space Station. (AFP)