Here's how to experience zero gravity like an astronaut in 2020
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Have you ever wanted to experience zero gravity? To feel what astronauts feel like when they’re in orbit?

As reported by USA TODAY, in 2020 the most accessible way to experience zero gravity is coming to 12 U.S. cities via Zero-G, which “puts tourists on the only plane in the United States certified for zero gravity flights – the kind of weightlessness possible on the International Space Station.” Pricing varies, but you’ll have to have a little disposable income to make it happen. “For one seat on a Zero-G flight,” says USA TODAY, “it’ll cost $5,400 plus 5 percent tax. The package includes breakfast, lunch, professional photos – and seven to eight minutes of weightlessness.” Here’s Zero-G’s 12-city schedule, which has already started (note: the program lists “New England” as a city, but I can’t tell where exactly that means):

  • Atlanta: March 21
  • Austin: April 4 and October 3
  • Houston: March 28, June 6 and November 7
  • Las Vegas: April 25, August 15 and October 31
  • Los Angeles: February 15, April 18, June 27, July 25, and October 24
  • Miami: February 29, March 7, May 23, August 29, and November 21
  • New England: May 3
  • New York: May 9 and September 26
  • Orlando: February 22, May 30, September 12, and November 14
  • San Francisco: April 11, June 13, August 1, and October 17
  • Seattle: June 20, August 8 and October 10
  • Washington, D.C.: May 16 and September 19

To book, and to see more info, visit the Zero-G website here. As for how it works…

How is it possible to experience zero gravity?

Regardless of whether you book a Zero-G flight, you might wonder how it works. How can someone experience zero gravity, or something close to it, without going to space? With Zero-G, guests zip on flight suits and board a modified Boeing 727. And then, per USA TODAY:

“To achieve zero gravity, the pilot performs an acrobatic aerial maneuver called a parabola. More simply, the pilot must draw a lowercase ‘n’ in the sky – the nose of the plane pointed in extreme angles first at outer space and later at the earth. In Las Vegas, the plane leaves McCarran International Airport and flies above uninhabited Arizona land. The pilot must fly the plane to 24,000 feet, the altitude where he gradually pulls up the nose of the plane to an angle of about 45 degrees. At 32,000 feet, the plane ‘pushes over’ the peak of the parabola. For about 30 seconds, everyone on board feels what it would be like to float through outer space.”

“But the G-Force One is equipped to give passengers a range of experiences. The pilot performs two additional parabola flights designed to give you the feeling both lunar – one-sixth of your weight – and Martian gravity – one-third of your weight. Each is created by flying a larger arc over the parabola top.”

 


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