7 April 2002
Features - Tourism (Good)
The FUN of Zero G
Great description of experiencing weightlessness on the Art Bell site
by Patrick Collins
In an illustrated article “Learning to Fly, Strip, and Vomit on a 727”, Penn Jillette gives a wonderfully zany description of the thrill of floating in weightlessness here. (It also describes how, until aviation authorities finally certify companies to offer these services through commercial ticket sales, it’s possible to ‘get round’ regulations by becoming a ‘company employee’, as the author did along with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, among others.)

Starting “Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be weightless…” the article beautifully captures the novelty, the wonder and the sheer exhilaration of entering this new environment – which is after all going to become a major environment for humans in the future.

Lots of space industry types would no doubt call the article “silly”, “trivial”, “irreverent”, or pour cold water on it in some other way. But it’s actually extremely lucky for them that Zero-G happens to be such fun. While they have been collectively so foolish as to keep it to themselves for more than 40 years already, the consumer demand to experience it is going to keep them in work for decades to come.

It is of course ridiculous (and indeed suggestive of resistance at some level of government in various countries) that these flights are still not commercially available except in Russia. However, it’s not going to be very much longer now until commercially available Zero-G experience flights will allow large numbers of people to get their first extended taste of this new world. (Of course you can get a couple of seconds of zero-G trampolining, and half a second just jumping in the air.) Until then, have a read of this article to remind you why it‘s worth waiting for.
Share |
Patrick Collins 7 April 2002
Please send comments, critiques and queries to feedback@spacefuture.com.
All material copyright Space Future Consulting except as noted.