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The zero-g plane allows for a lot of experiments to be conducted without the expense of getting equipment into orbit. Apparently 80% of microgravity research can be performed in a zero-gravity plane, which is much cheaper than going to space. The flame from the lighter seemed much lazier in zero-g because without weight there is no buoyant force and therefore no convection. This makes the process of combustion more challenging because it's difficult for oxygen to reach the fuel.