X PRIZE Raises $210,000 as James Cameron and Fellow Millionaires Go ZERO-G

Avatar Director/Producer James Cameron floats weightless in Zero G along with X PRIZE Trustees in a flight to raise funds for the X PRIZE Foundation. Left to right: Rob McEwen (Chairman, US Gold), James Cameron, Peter H. Diamandis (Chairman/CEO, X PRIZE), Elon Musk (Chairman/CEO, SpaceX), Jim Gianopulos (Chairman/CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment). Photo credit: Steve Boxall

James Cameron and Friends Soar Weightless in the Avatar Zero-G Experience to Support The X PRIZE Foundation
X PRIZE Foundation Press Release

This special flight assembled a group of 30 individuals who are passionate about the science and technology represented in AVATAR and mission and innovation of the X PRIZE Foundation. Three spots were reserved for the winners of an eBay auction, in which the general public went head-to-head in a bidding war to snag a coveted seat aboard the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. An additional 20 seats were sold for $15,000 each. The weightless experience took place aboard G-FORCE ONE, a specially modified, FAA-approved, Boeing 727-200 aircraft which departed from Van Nuys Airport. The flight, identical to those used by NASA to train its astronauts, provided guests the chance to fly like Superman and flip like an Olympic gymnast, as ZERO-G creates Martian (1/3-gravity), Lunar (1/6-gravity) and zero gravity conditions over the course of 15 parabolic arcs.

“Entrepreneurs and innovators are creating technologies which are making spaceflight affordable…whether it is flying aboard a Zero-G flight, a sub-orbital flight into space, or a private flight to orbit. On Saturday’s weightless flight we gathered six X PRIZE Trustees and 20 philanthropists who believe we can use incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for humanity,” said Dr. Diamandis, who founded both the X PRIZE Foundation and Zero-G. “The funds raised during this flight will help us design and launch audacious future X PRIZEs which will help humanity expand beyond the bounds of Earth.”

The auction raised a total of $210,000 with all proceeds benefiting the X PRIZE Foundation – an educational, non-profit organization that spurs innovation and radical breakthroughs through incentivized competition. The Foundation focuses on four different areas: Life Sciences; Energy and the Environment; Education and Global Development; and Exploration (Space and Oceans). Last month, the Foundation awarded the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, a competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, safe and super fuel-efficient vehicles capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon or the energy equivalent (MPGe).

“The rapid acceleration of technology is enabling small teams to conduct exploration that was only possible by national governments. The X PRIZE Foundation helps to set and incentivize audacious and worthy targets,” noted Cameron, Advisor on the X PRIZE Foundation’s Exploration Prize Committee. If AVATAR has created heightened interest on the importance of caring for our environment, science exploration and the potential for groundbreaking innovation then we have succeeded. These goals are in line with the mission of the X PRIZE Foundation.”