Free Fallin: 8 Minutes in Zero Gravity
Have you ever wondered how movies that take place in outer space, like the classic Apollo 13, are filmed? How do they simulate floating around on zero gravity? And be honest, you’ve always wanted to see what feeling weightless is like, but you didn’t really want to go through the 10 years of astronaut training. Well, good news! The G-Force-One is the first commercial plane that offers passengers the ultimate weightless experience as if you were in space.
The technique of creating a nearly gravity-free experience was started by NASA in order to help astronauts get used to what being weightless feels like, as well as what it feels like to accelerate beyond Earth’s normal gravity. It works fairly simple: A specialized 727 jet called the G-FORCE ONE takes you up to about 24,000 feet and then begins to do aerobatic maneuvers called parabolas. A parabola is achieved by increasing the aircraft to a 45-degree angle to reach an altitude of 34,000 feet. Then, the plane dives down and this is where you get experience 30 seconds of weightlessness.
For the initial takeoff, you’re sitting in regular seats, and feels a lot like the first part of any good rollercoaster—you’re leaning back in your chair full of anticipation, wondering what weightlessness is going to feel like. Once you reach the FAA designated airspace that is approximately 100 miles long and ten miles wide, you head to the back of the plane which is called the “Play Area.” That’s because it is where you get to play like astronauts do. The whole area has padding, which makes it a little more comfortable when your body is being tossed around like a rag doll.
When the plane goes into its first parabola, a crewmember starts by yelling “Martian gravity!” which is 1/3 your weight on Earth. Then you go into “Lunar gravity” which is 1/6 your weight. During this time you can do one-finger push-ups and feel like a macho man.
Then, the fourth parabola, you go into complete zero gravity!!!!!
The people that work there are really informative, and the experience really does make you feel like going to space, even down to the cool blue jumpsuits you wear. The plane only has a couple of windows, which is great because then you really can get into the sense that you’re on a space shuttle and not an airplane.
You can do somersaults, let yourself just float, or pretend you are Superwoman (or Superman)!
But once the thirty seconds are up, you flop on the floor…and wait for the next climb and drop into zero gravity.
All in all, they do this 15 times, so you get to experience 8 whole minutes of weightlessness, giving you lots of time to play around and get used to the feeling of being in space.
The Zero G experience is one of those once-in-a-lifetime, amazing experiences that I’ll never forget. I could not stop laughing and smiling the whole time. I felt like a little kid going to Disneyland for the first time!
PRICE AND WHAT YOU GET: “$4,950 + 5% tax: Weightless flight to include 15 parabolic maneuvers creating 20-30 seconds of weightlessness each. Includes ZERO-G merchandise, pre and post flight catering, professional photos of ZERO-G Experience®, video of weightless experience and certificate of weightless completion.”