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ToSeek
2004-Sep-14, 04:20 PM
Zero-gravity flights go mainstream
U.S. company offers public chance to experience weightlessness (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5992077/)


After years of effort, the first commercial tour service to offer zero-gravity airplane flights in the United States is finally open for business. For just under $3,000, regular folks can get a tamed-down taste of what astronauts feel on NASA's "Vomit Comet."

I'd consider it, but there isn't enough money on the planet to get my wife to join me. ;)

Humphrey
2004-Sep-14, 04:49 PM
It would be a blast, but thats alot of money. I'll stick with roller coasters over, and over again adding up the free fall time. :-P

Betenoire
2004-Sep-14, 05:08 PM
"For just under $3,000, regular folks..."

I think there may be something slightly contradictory in describing anybody with three grand to burn on a killer roller coaster ride as "regular folks".

Brady Yoon
2004-Sep-15, 03:26 AM
Only $3000? I could get into a theme park 100 times for that... :)

Kebsis
2004-Sep-15, 03:31 AM
I could watch 'Battlefield Earth' 500 times for that money and get 500 times the vomit.

Dgennero
2004-Sep-15, 05:04 AM
It is not just a killer rollercoaster, it simulates the gravity conditions of zero-g, and those on moon and mars, and the flight lasts much longer than a rollercoaster and contains 15 parabolic parts.
Most of us will never go to space in their life, but this is the only available way to experience what astronauts experience. People spend more money on more stupid things than this

paulie jay
2004-Sep-15, 05:15 AM
Up on the Gold Coast they have a notorious ride called the VomiTron which is said to pull some serious gees ('cause we always "pull" gees).

I wouldn't go near it for free.

TriangleMan
2004-Sep-15, 06:30 PM
In regards to the price, I expect people once said the same thing about skydiving ("I have to pay how much to jump out of a plane?"). If this zero-G business is sucessful competitors will start up and the price will go down.

Avatar28
2004-Sep-15, 08:43 PM
In regards to the price, I expect people once said the same thing about skydiving ("I have to pay how much to jump out of a plane?"). If this zero-G business is sucessful competitors will start up and the price will go down.

I STILL say that. I looked into the price once. Several hundred dollars for a single jump. That may be cheaper than it used to be but I was still astounded. Too rich for my blood. :-( More's the pity too. Skydiving is something I'd love to try.

lyford
2004-Sep-16, 09:00 PM
Xeni over at boingboing (http://www.boingboing.net/) has posted her experience on this (scroll down to read)- look at the photo:
http://www.boingboing.net/images/ZeroG-0915a-0207.jpg
There must have been some publicity whore thing going on since Buzz Aldrin was also on this flight. I repect him loads, but there comes a time to age gracefully I think.....

BTW, it looks like NASA was selling ad space on the inside of the plane... or is there a better explanation for the Diet Rite can on the side there?

How long till NASA ends up like NASCAR with logos plastered on every available inch? Sorry, square cm? "NASACAR?"


from the old NASA Watch (http://www.nasawatch.com) site, via thehumorsource since the orig is gone:
http://www.thehumorsource.com/pictures/446.jpg


(EDIT: I just noticed Xeni has a Diet Rite patch on her suit, so maybe her flight was spons(wh)ored, not the whole plane.)

ToSeek
2004-Sep-17, 04:32 PM
Wired article by Xeni (http://www.wired.com/news/space/0,2697,64980,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2)


This must be what it feels like when your soul leaves your body. That's all I could think when the first parabola hit, and I floated in zero gravity for the first time.

If you've ever dreamed you could fly, you already know exactly how it feels. That's the most amazing thing about weightlessness -- the fact that something so unnatural and unfamiliar feels so natural, so familiar.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-20, 04:04 PM
Space.com: Roller coaster in the sky (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/mystery_monday_040920.html)

A Thousand Pardons
2004-Sep-20, 04:50 PM
Is that where the Irish Creme commercial was filmed, or was that created in the computer?

Tranquility
2004-Sep-20, 05:58 PM
Hmm. I could probably buy 6 6800 Ultras, and I can go to Hell and back with those.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-21, 06:32 PM
Can You Handle Zero G? (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/zero_g_sick_040921.html)


Floating around an airplane unhampered by gravity may sound like a blast, but only as long as you take precautions to keep your lunch in your stomach.

I've heard ginger is good.

iFire
2004-Sep-21, 06:37 PM
Dang, now just if I could somehow come up with $3000... :(

tmosher
2004-Sep-22, 01:21 AM
I used to get those rides for free (actually, I was paid for them).

When I used to fly freight as a loadmaster, the turboprop crews used to wake me up by bouncing me off the ceiling. I used to sleep on the freight and if I didn't wake up after the third light flash - they'd pull a negative G and bounce me off the ceiling - it also proved that I had tried the frieght down properly.

Tom

oh I miss those days - really good pay for the time and a week on/week off schedule.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-22, 09:21 PM
Zero G Flights Could Bolster Space Tourism, Research Industries (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/zero-g_industry_040922.html)


But there is another aim of Zero-Gs aerial roller coaster: To help cultivate the legions of passengers needed to establish a hale and hearty suborbital and orbital space travel and research marketplace.

SAMU
2004-Sep-23, 03:17 AM
What I want to know is why I can fly across the entire United States ten times, spending as much as 40 hours aboard a vastly superior airplane for the same price as on this flight that only does a couple of parabolas.

TriangleMan
2004-Sep-23, 10:42 AM
Because there are multiple airline companies competing for your business while only one company offers zero-G rides?

kucharek
2004-Sep-23, 11:04 AM
If you read ToSeek's link, you'll get these 3000 bucks into perspective.

ToSeek
2004-Oct-12, 05:33 PM
Starting today (http://www.floridatoday.com/news/space/stories/2004b/spacestoryN1009ZEROG.htm)


People won't just fly on a special jet today out of the Fort Lauderdale airport. They'll float.

Zero G opens its two-hour flights to the paying public today. For $2,950, customers experience Martian gravity, lunar gravity and no gravity.

"We've done very well," chief marketing officer Noah McMahon said. "It's unbelievable. We've had a terrific response."

The jet, dubbed G-Force-One, achieves weightlessness for its passengers in a series of roller-coaster maneuvers between 22,000 and 32,000 feet.

The company is the first to offer such flights in the United States. It offers two to four flights a month for individual passengers, McMahon said, and it has sold about two dozen fully-booked flights to companies, filmmakers, researchers and the like.

"We're in negotiations with NASA right now to fly in the months of November and December," he said.

The flights would help the space agency fill a training gap while getting a new parabolic-flight plane ready. NASA is retiring the KC-135, known as the "vomit comet."

mickal555
2005-Jan-23, 12:45 PM
Sorry for bumping this thread but, I'd do it for sure as long as it dousn't make me to quezzy. sounds like alot of fun

ToSeek
2005-Aug-26, 05:13 PM
Firm offers weightless flights (http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050825/BUSINESS/508250352/1007/NEWS02)


Theresa Trawick of Melbourne remembers "bouncing around like a pinball" in a plane during a flight last month. In this case, she couldn't have been happier about it.

"It was unbelievably fun," she said.

What might be cause for panic during a regular flight is a marketable experience for Fort Lauderdale-based Zero Gravity Corp.

The company, which is planning flights out of the Titusville area and Orlando in November, sells spots on what's known as "parabolic flights" for $3,750 per person. The trips offer passengers the thrill of weightlessness.

publiusr
2005-Aug-26, 08:14 PM
They use the 727 IIRC. I loved those T-tails.

Eoanthropus Dawsoni
2005-Aug-26, 09:28 PM
That would be a lot of fun. You can do the zero G stuff with just about any airplane but it sure would be a blast in an airplane large enough to float around in.

I used to like doing that with my little Cessna 120. It was fun to watch the loose stuff floating around inside the cockpit and it gave my passengers a thrill (It was a great way to impress chicks on a first date). It takes a little practice, but not much. Too hard of a push over can stress the plane with negative Gs, and if you are a bit too hard on the recovery you can pull some Gs. But if you do it just right there is not too much stress on the airplane. However with zero G the carburetor does not function so you need to expect the engine to quit.

Nicolas
2005-Aug-30, 01:55 PM
With the jet engines of the Cessna Citation 2 we didn't have that problem. 1.5G's in the ascent of the parabola; 2/2.5 in the recovery 8).
Approx. 10-15 sec. weightlesness per parabola. WE were strapped in however :-? :D .

farmerjumperdon
2005-Aug-30, 03:10 PM
In regards to the price, I expect people once said the same thing about skydiving ("I have to pay how much to jump out of a plane?"). If this zero-G business is sucessful competitors will start up and the price will go down.

I STILL say that. I looked into the price once. Several hundred dollars for a single jump. That may be cheaper than it used to be but I was still astounded. Too rich for my blood. :-( More's the pity too. Skydiving is something I'd love to try.

A tandem skydive should cost no more than $200 (possibly slightly higher on either coast and with fuel going up). Here in the Midwest it runs about $180. It is a thrill no person can ever forget. I've seen many hundreds take their 1st dive. All are excited, many are nervous, a few slightly terrified. But I've never seen a one regret it after the fact.

Tandem is the way to go. 30 minutes of training, about as many signatures on the waiver (there is no insurance in this business), and away you go. You can take the full-blown student first jump course, but unless you are pretty certain you are going to take up the sport - it's not a good deal. 6 to 8 hours of instruction, $250, and a very regimented skydive.

With the tandem jump you get to experience freefall for about a minute, do some fun manuevers, and you are so rushed out that none of the thrill is lost, despite the fact you are harnessed to a jumpmaster.

BTW, it's terminal velocity, but not zero G. Terminal velocity is way cool though. Most never experience falling long enough to stop accelerating. It's basically riding on a cushion of air at about 120MPH; except that you get to do it with a bunch of friends and you have incredible control once you learn to relax.

If you know an experienced skydiver, go with them to the DZ. A good chance the jumpmaster will let them swoop, or lurk, your tandem skydive - an additional thrill.

We also do the zero G a few times each year. That $3000 price tag is ridiculous. We get a dozen people in the plane, and on the way to exit altitude, if the pilot feels everyone is OK with it, takes us for a little joy ride. It costs us $20 each, and we get a skydive to boot.

If you ever decide to take the plunge, let me know how it went.