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
"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.