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Tue, Apr 04, 2006

Zero-G Plans Regular Use Of NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility

Aero-News Will Be On Board Again This Weekend...

NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Zero Gravity Corporation, known as ZERO-G, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently announced an agreement for the firm's regular use of the Kennedy space shuttle runway and landing facility (Shuttle Landing Facility) for non-NASA flights. This agreement will broaden the public's interest in space flight and increase awareness of its importance.

ZERO-G will conduct up to 280 flights annually from the facility using its modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, called G-Force One. Kennedy has agreed to permit the firm to conduct as many as seven flights weekly under a Space Act Agreement that provides for reimbursement of NASA's runway and support costs.

Last November, the provider of weightless flights became the first company to participate in a demonstration program intended to test non-NASA use of the runway. Based on the success of that demonstration, ZERO-G and NASA negotiated the first recurring use agreement for regular non-NASA flights from the space center.

"We are extremely pleased to have ZERO-G sign on as a regular user of our Shuttle Landing Facility," said KSC Director Jim Kennedy.

"This is the ideal place for activities that share the experience of space flight with the general public."

In addition to giving passengers exposure to the zero-gravity experience astronauts have while orbiting earth, the parabolic flights also allow flyers to experience the same gravity conditions one would feel on the moon and on Mars, providing a glimpse of what future NASA crews will encounter.

"Conducting our flights from the Kennedy Space Center -- one of the most internationally-recognized and frequented venues for space travel and education -- is a perfect match for ZERO-G," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis (pictured below... in 'Superman' mode), chairman and chief executive officer of ZERO-G.

"This is a meaningful step in the growth and expansion of our service as we continue to bring the fun and exhilaration of weightless flight to the general public."

ZERO-G flights from KSC will be scheduled on a non-interference basis with NASA's own requirements to use the shuttle runway for agency missions or other activities.

The company's inaugural flight for the public from KSC is set for June 24.

FMI: www.GoZeroG.com, www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/business

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