Virgin Galactic Customers Enjoy Early Taste of Microgravity

Joanne Le Bon in microgravity. (Credit: Steve Boxall)
Joanne Le Bon in microgravity. (Credit: Steve Boxall)

As part of its gathering of future spaceflight participants in Mojave on Sept. 25, Virgin Galactic also scheduled a series of space-related events and activities throughout the week for those coming in from the four corners of the globe. These included an after party at the Endeavour exhibit in Los Angeles, centrifuge training at NASTAR in Pennsylvania, tours of the Mount Wilson Observatory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and microgravity parabolic rides aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE (above).

A press release from ZERO-G follows after the break.

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Spaceport Sweden Selling Parabolic Microgravity Flights

The 'Zero-G" Airbus A300
The ‘Zero-G” Airbus A300

KIRUNA, SWEDEN (Spaceport Sweden PR) — Have you ever dreamt of flying, defying the laws of gravity and float free in the air like an astronaut? Since space exploration began, only a few hundred have had the privilege to experience the ultimate space experience and the magical feeling to float in total weightlessness.

That is about to change. For the fist time ever, weightless flights will be offered to the general public in Europe. Spaceport Sweden has been selected as a key partner and reseller for the air Zero G flights in the Netherlands and Nordic countries (excluding Iceland).

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NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program Selects 24 Payloads

Made in Space tests a 3D printer in microgravity. (Credit: Made in Space)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected 24 cutting-edge space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, balloons and a commercial parabolic aircraft.

Sixteen of the payloads will ride on parabolic aircraft flights, which provide brief periods of weightlessness. Five will fly on suborbital reusable launch vehicle test flights. Two will ride on high-altitude balloons that fly above 65,000 feet. One payload will fly on the suborbital launch vehicle and high-altitude balloon platforms. The flights will take place in 2012 and 2013.
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Design a Patch, Win a Free Zero-G Flight

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)

ZERO G PR — ZERO-G is celebrating its 300th flight on April 14 by returning to the airport where it took its inaugural flight – Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL).

To celebrate this exciting flight we are asking fans to design a unique patch commemorating this milestone.

The winner’s design will be transformed into a patch which will be worn by the 300th flight participants. To top it off, the winner will also get to fly for free on the 300th flight!

Entries must be submitted by March 26. A winner will be announced April 2.

To enter or for more information – Click Here

NASA Selects Technology Payloads For Reduced-Gravity Flights

SuperMod launch. (Credit: Armadillo Aerospace)

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected nine proposals to demonstrate new technologies for the second set of payloads to fly on commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicles and the Zero-G commercial parabolic aircraft. NASA is using commercially available vehicles to carry these technology demonstration payloads to help develop the U.S. commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry.

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program provides test flights to demonstrate and validate space technologies on airborne platforms flying above 65,000 feet, the area known as “near space.” The program also supports parabolic flights that simulate brief periods of microgravity or weightlessness.

“We’re moving out with a set of payloads that can benefit from the proving ground of near space,” Mike Gazarik, director of NASA’s Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington said. “We’re looking forward to increasing the number of commercial flights and technology demonstration payloads flown, with companies providing a viable reusable flying science lab capability for researchers from all across America.”

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Fly an Object in Microgravity with ZERO-G

 (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Steve Boxall)

ZERO-G PR — ZERO-G wants to know what you would like to see float in weightlessness.

Submit one photo of an object you would like to see weightless by April 15. ZERO-G will select the Top 5 entries and publish them on ZERO-G’s Facebook page on April 18. Then it’s up to ZERO-G fans to select the winning object. The winner will be announced on April 22 and the winning object will fly on an upcoming ZERO-G flight.

  • Object must be able to fit inside a shoe box.
  • Object cannot be an animal, or anything flammable, it cannot be made of glass, magnetic, or have sharp edges, it cannot be a liquid.

Please include your full name and name of your object, in order for your entry to be considered.

Object Line-Up

Acceptable entries include stuffed animals, toys, feather boas, play money…the possibilities are endless!

Submit Your Entry Now

Save 20 Percent on ZERO-G Flight From Chicago

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)

Hey, you going to be in Chicago on March 26?
Yes.

Got $4,200 to burn?
Uh-huh.

Then Go ZERO-G!
All right!

Seats on the Chicago flight on March 26 are only $4,000 plus a $200 excise tax. That’s about a 20 percent discount on a $5,197.50 full-priced ticket with tax.

Sign up here. Do it quickly. The 72-hour sale ends on Sunday, March 20.

Astronauts4Hire Complete Space Beer Test in Micro-G

A4H PR – Orlando, Florida – Astronauts4Hire has completed its inaugural paid contract to test the world’s first beer designed for consumption in space. The experiment, which marks humanity’s first formal study on alcohol absorption in microgravity, took place aboard a parabolic trajectory microgravity flight out of Cape Canaveral, Florida operated by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G). Yesterday’s flight was the first in a series of microgravity flights qualifying the beer recipe for consumption in space, funded in part by sales of the beverage on Earth.

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James Cameron to Fly on Zero-G Plane in X PRIZE Benefit

X PRIZE FOUNDATION

Helping to raise funds for the X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org), “Avatar” Producer/Director, James Cameron, will participate as the honored guest aboard an extraordinary ZERO-G Experience taking off from Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 9, 2010. Additional X PRIZE Board Members and special guests have purchased seats to participate in this special event. Three available seats for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure will be auctioned on eBay to the general public beginning Tuesday, August 31, 2010 and ending Friday, September 3, 2010. To find out more information about the auction and to bid on seats, visit http://eBay.com/cameron.

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ZERO G Disputes Critical Inspector General’s Report

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)


ZERO-G PRESS RELEASE

On June 18, 2010, the Office of Inspector General released an Audit Report of NASA’s Microgravity Flight Services as provided by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G). The report’s principal recommendation was that NASA should restructure ZERO-G’s current contract. ZERO-G would welcome the opportunity for the restructure in terms of addressing the appropriate measure of parabola quality and to assure NASA’s continued access to microgravity flight services from ZERO-G.

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NASA OIG: ZERO G Provides NASA With “Inconsistent” Levels of Microgravity Flight Services

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)

NASA’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report saying that ZERO-G Corporation has “provided inconsistent quality levels of microgravity flight services since it began providing NASA with reduced gravity flights in August 2008.” The space agency’s watchdog also criticized the terms of ZERO G’s contract, NASA’s lack of a backup plan, and poor financial controls that resulted in a small overpayment.

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ZERO-G Heads for Beantown

Participants experience microgravity aboard a Zero-G Corporation parabolic flight. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)


ZERO-G PRESS RELEASE

On June 26, Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G), G-FORCE ONE will take off from Logan airport offering flyers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to defy the law of gravity. Flyers will have the unique opportunity to float freely in complete weightlessness onboard ZERO-G’s weightless flight. ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights.

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ZERO-G Introduces Platinum Service, Raises Price by $1,850

ZERO-G: Now with 40 percent more room at 37 percent higher prices. (PRNewsFoto/Zero Gravity Corporation, Al Powers)

ZERO-G will introduce a new Platinum service next week for its microgravity flights, which adds two extra parabolic loops and 40 percent more space for passengers to float around it. The new service also comes with a hefty price tag: $6,800 per person plus tax, a 37.37 percent increase from the $4,950 base rate charged for the standard package.

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