Novespace, subsidiary of the French National Space Center (CNES) created in 1986, owns and operates the Airbus A310 ZERO-G. Novespace organizes in-flight tests and research activities for customers worldwide mainly in parabolic flights.
Parabolic flights provide a very flexible access to microgravity for a large range of scientific experiments and technological tests. As compared to other microgravity access facilities (sounding rockets, drop towers, orbital flights...), parabolic flights offer a much bigger experimentation area and give the researchers the possibility to work in situ directly on their experiment at a significant lower cost.
CNES and the European Space Agency (ESA), partners of the parabolic flights program, share the cost of the heavy maintenance of the aircraft. Novespace relies on Sogerma Services for the aircraft maintenance activities and on the flight test center of the French defense procurement agency (DGA) for the flight operations.