PDA

View Full Version : Stephen Hawking Will Experience Zero Gravity



Fraser
2007-Mar-01, 09:38 PM
Famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking is scheduled to take a ride on the vomit comet, and experience a bit of what it's like to fly in zero gravity.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/03/01/stephen-hawking-will-experience-zero-gravity/?1406)

obkimmer
2007-Mar-02, 12:20 AM
Is it just me, or arn't these parabolic flights, and even freefall orbits considered micro gravity and not zero gravity as I keep seeing reported.

Grand_Lunar
2007-Mar-02, 01:51 AM
It's just a technicality of terms.

I suppose this is the closest Mr. Hawking will come to experiencing the enviroment of space. Certainly closer than myself!

suitti
2007-Mar-02, 04:34 PM
Another way to get a flight is to propose some research that happens to need it.

Nicolas
2007-Mar-02, 05:39 PM
You can accomplish zero gravity in these flights in theory, in practice steering difficulties will have your gravity somewhere close above or below zero. We have flown parabola's that were very clean, and had an almost perfect zero G. WE've also had dirty ones, some of them locking at -0.1 G's. That's considered a bad parabola, and then we're talking 0.1 G's. You also have oscillating ones, where you go from negative to positive G's and back. Anyway, they can get the parabola's pretty clean indeed. The most important guidance instrument for the pilots is balancing a pencil. :)

As for experiencing space: it is great indeed, but I think that floating around for some seconds still is quite different than being strapped in. I've only flown parabola's while being strapped in.

Heath Patrie
2007-Mar-02, 08:31 PM
I'm glad Zero Gravity are underwriting his whirl on the Vomit Comet. How could humanity ever repay Stephen Hawking? I hope Richard Branson buys his ticket for his Virgin Galactic hop. {I hope Stephen is fit enough to do it; he deserves it.}

Larry Jacks
2007-Mar-02, 08:51 PM
One of the concerns about flying Hawking on the vomit comet is the stress his body will experience when they pull out of the parabola. His body has been ravaged by ALS and may not tolerate G loads (even less than 2 Gs) very well. If that's the case, it seems unlikely he'd be fit enough to fly on a Virgin Galactic hop and more's the pity.

As an aside, Hawking is the longest living person I've ever heard of with ALS. Most people die within a few years of diagnosis. Hawking was diagnosed back in the early 1960s.

Ilya
2007-Mar-02, 09:46 PM
I'm glad Zero Gavity are underwriting his whirl on the Vomit Comet. How could humanity ever repay Stephen Hawking? I hope Richard Branson buys his ticket for his Virgin Galactic hop.
According to space.com (http://www.space.com/news/ap_070301_hawking_zerog.html), he intends to:



Branson has decided he will personally finance Hawking's ticket into space -- a flight that would normally cost $200,000.

“He's one of the greatest physicists of all time,'' Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn told AP earlier this year.

trinitree88
2007-Mar-04, 10:26 PM
Jeesh! I know Stephen's not Jewish, but the guy has chutzpah..I like it. My mom died of ALS and she never let it get her down. I wish him a safe and memorable experience, he shows the same courage in his physical forays that he always has in his physics. Kudos.:clap: Pete.

John Mendenhall
2007-Mar-05, 03:30 PM
You can accomplish zero gravity in these flights in theory, in practice steering difficulties will have your gravity somewhere close above or below zero. We have flown parabola's that were very clean, and had an almost perfect zero G. WE've also had dirty ones, some of them locking at -0.1 G's. That's considered a bad parabola, and then we're talking 0.1 G's. You also have oscillating ones, where you go from negative to positive G's and back. Anyway, they can get the parabola's pretty clean indeed. The most important guidance instrument for the pilots is balancing a pencil. :)

As for experiencing space: it is great indeed, but I think that floating around for some seconds still is quite different than being strapped in. I've only flown parabola's while being strapped in.

I agree. I would argue that while the aircraft may be experiencing +/- .1 G, an object or person free floating inside the aircraft is at zero G, although they will be accelerating at 3.2 ft. per second per second towards the wall, or ceiling, or floor. When they are in contact with and co-moving with the aircraft, then they are subject to the same G forces as the the aircraft.

Of course, when the aircraft pulls out, it's a good idea to be on the down side. At 2 G's you don't want to hit the floor at 64 feet per secend per second acceleration.

Serenitude
2007-Mar-05, 05:48 PM
Indeed, a strange anomoly with ALS is in general the younger you are when diagnosed, the more rapidly you succumb. He's defied the odds in many ways with it.

Having a very vast amount of experience with disabled and immobile patients, however, I would be extremely interested to read what modifications will be necessary to let him feel actual weightlessness, and not the feeling of sitting in his chair, and what special safety precautions will be in place.

SockMonkey
2007-Mar-08, 12:39 PM
Will he be physically able to move himself around in zero-g or will he only be able to float there?

Delvo
2007-Mar-09, 01:54 AM
He will float without movement or control, just as he sits without movement or control.

His condition has deteriorated so far that even the methods he's been using to compensate are losing effectiveness. The computer that pronounces his words, for example, was controlled by a thing in one hand that responded to tiny movements of the fingers of that hand, practically the last bit of voluntary movement control he had left. But now even those fingers can't manage even those faint twitches properly anymore, so he ends up triggering the wrong commands or none at all. :(

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-26, 03:18 PM
And now CNN picks it up (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/04/26/hawking.flight.ap/index.html) without some of the key statements or inferences in the space.com article.

I think that one of the key points is the fact that this is a stepping stone for the space hop that Branson is offering. Something not even eluded to by CNN.

CNN almost makes it sound like a plane ride is going to help space ventures.

Anyway, go Steven, I wish you great success and multiple arcs...

cudachaser
2007-Apr-26, 07:45 PM
Really interesting sideline to this thread. On Saturday a group from Italy will fly on the vomit comet. As part of their training, "SpaceLand" of Italy has commissioned me to train them in micro gravity while on Scuba. Using proper buoyancy control you become essentially weightless underwater.

I will train them the very basics of scuba in shallow water. My team have created a "space capsule" that we are placing in the pool. This capsule is a 1000 gal polypropulene water vat that we got from a feed store. When the students are comfortable with breathing underwater we'll transfer the hookah units. That's a 30ft hose attached the primary breathing regulator freeing them of the bulky scuba tank. My safety divers will then escort them to the capsule where the "aquanauts" will perform various tasks such as opening and closing valves and hatches, torquing bolts & entering and egressing the capsule.

This "SpaceLand's first try at this adventure...should be a lot of fun

I'll send pics after the event!

Joe

Joe

Globalwarming Watch
2007-Apr-27, 01:05 PM
Famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking is scheduled to take a ride on the vomit comet, and experience a bit of what it's like to fly in zero gravity.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/03/01/stephen-hawking-will-experience-zero-gravity/?1406)

Ya, I see him at the TV program today. His dream to let ordinary people can experience a bit of what it's like to fly in zero gravity is very interesting.

He also said that people in the world doesn't have the future because the impact of global warming. No other way, people must move into other place in space .... wow ... great ! :clap:

Someday we will say to our friends: "Have a nice space trip!" :)

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-27, 02:07 PM
8 Arcs...way to go stephen :clap:

MSNBC has details. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18334489/)

Nick4
2007-Jun-07, 05:13 AM
Good Luck