Guayaquil, Tuesday May 6 2008, Aerospace Base Simón Bolívar.

The Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) and the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA) announced today that they have jointly developed the first and only plane in latin america capable of performing microgravity flights, usually called zero-g planes, able to create moments of null gravity where everything floats on board , like in space.

This development is completely national, and is achieved without any international aid or help, turning Ecuador the third country in the world only after the US and Russia in acquiring this technology by their own means, and this achievement puts Ecuador at the leadership of aero space development in the region.

The project is the brain child of the first Ecuadorian astronaut and head of EXA's Space Operations division, Commander  Ronnie Nader, who in October 2007 proposed the project to FAE, who accepted the challenge and assigned resources and a multidisciplinary team for its development under the direction of Tcnrl. Patricio Salazar Benavides.

Two aerospace missions where needed and were manned jointly between EXA and FAE, the EXA/FAE 01, which was the first aerospace mission on Ecuador's history, successfully performed on April 10, 2008 on board of a Mirage F1JE; and the EXA/FAE 02 mission successfully performed today may 6 of 2008 on board of a T39 Sabreliner. Both missions were commanded by Nader.

EXA designed and built the device that allows the planes recreate the microgravity, called
MGCP or Multivectorial Gravimetric Computing Platform, which is the key for this type of flight, the device was installed on both missions on board FAE planes, the device was designed by Nader and and built in the country by EXA engineers .

FAE put the experience of their pilots, the planes and the technical personnel needed to modify the planes and install the MGCP, FAE now becomes the only air force in the region to have pilots trained in microgravity flight.

During the EXA/FAE 02 mission the Ecuadorian flag
floats on board the plane for very first time in history over Ecuadorian territory, there are 10 microgravity planes in the world and the tenth is the Ecuadorian one, rechristened  FUERZA-G UNO – CÓNDOR

Microgravity planes are used as laboratories where gravity is suspended for moments for executing scientific experiments,  recently the first surgery on zero-g was performed on board one of this planes, they are also used by space agencies to train their astronauts.

Commander Ronnie Nader's biography here








EXA/01 - BP-16/BPC-EF-001-060508