In our childhood world, we had fantasies, including zero-gravity flight. Some of the fantasies fade away, while some stay with us and deepen as overwhelming desires with the passing of time. Maybe, you do still imagine flying effortlessly and weightlessly in the vast expanse of air, with your arms stretched out and a cape tied to your back. How is it if you get an opportunity to relive your childhood fantasies in real? You don’t need to spend millions of dollars on Elon Musk’s space tourism programs. What can make your dreams of adventure in a gravity-free world, is a zero-gravity flight.
Worry no more! It’s all about to turn into a reality. Zero-G, a space tour operator, has promised an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience in a Gravity-free flight. According to Zero-G’s website, “Zero Gravity Corporation is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of space accessible to the public. The experience offered by Zero-G is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true ‘weightlessness’ without going to space.”
How Zero-Gravity Flights Work
Gravity-free flights require a unique aerial maneuver, better known as a parabola. Let’s simplify it down as to exactly how zero-gravity flights work. To achieve a gravity-free stage, the aircraft reaches a certain height from the ground and then, the pilot maneuvers the aircraft upwards and then downwards. Basically, the pilot draws a lowercase ‘n’ in the air. In a continuous succession, the movement of the aircraft resembles ripples in water.
To be precise, once the aircraft reaches an altitude of 24,000 feet, the pilot pulls the aircraft upwards with its nose facing 45 degrees. The aircraft continues climbing at the same angle until it reaches an altitude of 32,000 feet aka the peak of the parabola. When the aircraft reaches the peak, for about 30 seconds, you’ll experience a zero-gravity moment until the plane dives down to reach the initial altitude.
After the plane reaches the initial altitude of 24,000 feet, the pilot performs a few more additional parabola flights. There are four different kinds of gravity-free flight environments namely Martian gravity, lunar gravity, zero gravity, and hypergravity environment.
These gravity environments are achieved when the pilot flies the aircraft in the same angle and climbs even further than the peak point, making a larger arc; gravity-free flight moments depend on the size of the arc created. In the Lunar gravity environment, you’ll experience one-sixth of your weight and on the Martian gravity, you’ll experience one-third of your weight.
Cost of Zero-Gravity Flights
The saying “You have to lose something to gain something” stands true. Soaring like a superhero with your hands stretched out comes at a cost. Zero-G offers three different packages.
The first package requires you to shell out $5,400 plus 5% tax for a seat on a zero-gravity flight. To be precise, it costs a few hundred dollars more than business class flights. In case you plan on tagging your friends and family along, you can avail of the second package which will cost you $55,000 along with a 5% tax for 12 people. Moreover, if your coffers are deep enough and you want to avail a charter flight, it’ll cost you $165,000 along with a 5% tax.
The cost of a zero-gravity flight varies based on your preferences but, the perks will be the same for all packages. The perks include 15 parabolic maneuvers with 20 to 30 seconds of zero-gravity moments each, merchandise from Zero-G, meals before and after the flight, complimentary photos and videos of your experience in zero-gravity and a certificate stating that you successfully completed a zero-gravity flight.
Zero-gravity flights take place within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) corridor, which is away from most commercial flight routes and is around 100 miles long and 10 miles wide.
If you want to experience zero-gravity, you can grab a seat on zero-gravity flights in USA as Zero-G has released its 12-city flight schedule for 2020:
- Atlanta – March 21
- Austin – April 4; Oct. 3
- Houston – March 28; June 6; Nov. 7
- Las Vegas – April 25; Aug. 15; Oct. 31
- Los Angeles – Feb. 15; April 18; June 27; July 25; Oct. 24
- Miami – Feb. 29; March 7; May 23; Aug. 29; Nov. 21
- New England – May 3
- New York – May 9; Sept. 26
- Washington, D.C. – May 16; Sept. 19
- Orlando – Feb. 22; May 30; Sept. 12; Nov. 14
- San Francisco – April 11; June 13; Aug. 1; Oct. 17
- Seattle – June 20; Aug. 8; Oct. 10