27 September 2004
News - Tourism (Good)
Space Tourism Pioneer Starts Zero-Gravity Experience Flights
First Commercial Parabolic Flight Services Available in the USA
by Patrick Collins
After taking eight years to get licenced to provide parabolic flight services to the general public, Zero Gravity Corporation finally started its long-awaited service on September 14.

A triumph of the determination and entrepreneurial energy needed to keep going until success is achieved, the company is led by Peter Diamandis, founder of the organisation sponsoring the Ansari-X Prize and X-Prize Cups. Through these various activities he is making major contributions to getting space tourism started - and Space Future wishes Zero Gravity Corporation the greatest of success.

Leonard David gives a good description of the long-drawn-out and expensive process involved in receiving FAA certification for an activity which has never been offered commercially in the USA, along with the company's plans and prospects here.

No-one can predict how popular the service will become, but we have our fingers crossed that it will grow into a best-seller. The experience of zero-gravity is one of the key features of space travel - and a major contributor to why everyone who has been to space says that it was one of the greatest experiences of their lives. Available for the last few years in Russia, making this experience more widely available will hopefully lead more and more people to press for space tourism services to be made available. Once enough people demand them they will become available, opening the door towards an optimistic and open-ended future for the human race, as described in more detail here.

As part of the initial publicity campaign, Zero Gravity Corporation flew Buzz Aldrin, lunar veteran and major supporter of space tourism, in both zero and lunar gravity on September 17.

Readers can find information about booking flights and recent news on the company's website: www.nogravity.com
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Patrick Collins 27 September 2004
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