NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected nine proposals to demonstrate new technologies for the second set of payloads to fly on commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicles and the Zero-G commercial parabolic aircraft. NASA is using commercially available vehicles to carry these technology demonstration payloads to help develop the U.S. commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry.
NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program provides test flights to demonstrate and validate space technologies on airborne platforms flying above 65,000 feet, the area known as “near space.” The program also supports parabolic flights that simulate brief periods of microgravity or weightlessness.
“We’re moving out with a set of payloads that can benefit from the proving ground of near space,” Mike Gazarik, director of NASA’s Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington said. “We’re looking forward to increasing the number of commercial flights and technology demonstration payloads flown, with companies providing a viable reusable flying science lab capability for researchers from all across America.”
James Cameron and Friends Soar Weightless in the Avatar Zero-G Experience to Support The X PRIZE Foundation X PRIZE Foundation Press Release
This special flight assembled a group of 30 individuals who are passionate about the science and technology represented in AVATAR and mission and innovation of the X PRIZE Foundation. Three spots were reserved for the winners of an eBay auction, in which the general public went head-to-head in a bidding war to snag a coveted seat aboard the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. An additional 20 seats were sold for $15,000 each. The weightless experience took place aboard G-FORCE ONE, a specially modified, FAA-approved, Boeing 727-200 aircraft which departed from Van Nuys Airport. The flight, identical to those used by NASA to train its astronauts, provided guests the chance to fly like Superman and flip like an Olympic gymnast, as ZERO-G creates Martian (1/3-gravity), Lunar (1/6-gravity) and zero gravity conditions over the course of 15 parabolic arcs.
“Flying into Zero G today with James Cameron, Jim Gianopulos, Craig Venter, Elon Musk and a number of X PRIZE trustees and donors!”
Cameron, of course, is the director of “Avatar.” Elon Musk is founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Motors. Craig Venter is a venture capitalist and biologist best known for his pioneering work in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell with a synthetic genome earlier. And Jim Gianopulos is co-chairman-CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Last month, X Prize auctioned off three seats aboard a ZERO-G microgravity flight with Cameron on eBay for $30,000 as a fundraiser. The bidders were anonymous, and Diamandis promised there would be “alot of amazing VIPs on this flight.â€ So, it’s not clear exactly who paid for the tickets.
NASA recently sponsored a series of flights from Ellington Field in Houston to test technologies in reduced-gravity conditions. The flights marked the third year of operations for NASA’s Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology program, called FAST. (more…)
Astronauts4Hireâ€™s inaugural mission as a contracted flight researcher will be testing the worldâ€™s first beer to be certified for drinking in space. The beer, produced as a joint venture between Saber Astronautics Australia and the 4-Pines Brewing Company (under the name Vostok Pty Ltd), is a recipe designed for easy drinking in both in microgravity and on Earth. It is intended to meet anticipated demand from the nascent space tourism market. (more…)
Helping to raise funds for the X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org), “Avatar” Producer/Director, James Cameron, will participate as the honored guest aboard an extraordinary ZERO-G Experience taking off from Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 9, 2010.Â Additional X PRIZE Board Members and special guests have purchased seats to participate in this special event.Â Three available seats for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure will be auctioned on eBay to the general public beginning Tuesday, August 31, 2010 and ending Friday, September 3, 2010.Â To find out more information about the auction and to bid on seats, visit http://eBay.com/cameron.
On June 18, 2010, the Office of Inspector General released an Audit Report of NASA’s Microgravity Flight Services as provided by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G). The report’s principal recommendation was that NASA should restructure ZERO-G’s current contract. ZERO-G would welcome the opportunity for the restructure in terms of addressing the appropriate measure of parabola quality and to assure NASA’s continued access to microgravity flight services from ZERO-G.
NASA’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report saying that ZERO-G Corporation has “provided inconsistent quality levels of microgravity flight services since it began providing NASA with reduced gravity flights in August 2008.”Â The space agency’s watchdog also criticized the terms of ZERO G’s contract, NASA’s lack of a backup plan, and poor financial controls that resulted in a smallÂ overpayment.
On June 26, Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G), G-FORCE ONE will take off from Logan airport offering flyers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to defy the law of gravity. Flyers will have the unique opportunity to float freely in complete weightlessness onboard ZERO-G’s weightless flight. ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights.
The Northrop Grumman Corporation Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the Weightless Flights of Discovery program taking place in Gulfport, Miss. on Sept. 20, 2010. A maximum of 30 teachers will be chosen to participate in the unique initiative that places teachers on micro-gravity flights to test Newton’s Laws of Motion and energize students in the formative middle-school years.
ZERO-G will introduce a new Platinum service next week for its microgravity flights, which adds two extra parabolic loops and 40 percent more space for passengers to float around it. The new service also comes with a hefty price tag: $6,800 per person plus tax, a 37.37 percent increase from the $4,950 base rate charged for the standard package.
On February 27, Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G), G-FORCE ONE will take off from LAS Airport offering fliers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to defy the laws of gravity. Â Guests will have the unique opportunity to float freely in complete weightlessness during ZERO-G’s weightless flight. Â ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights.
On February 13, Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G), G-FORCE ONE will blast off from VNY [Van Nuys] airport offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to defy the law of gravity. Guests will have the unique opportunity to float freely and lighten up in complete weightlessness onboard ZERO-G’s weightless flight. ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights.
Got nothing else to do on Halloween? Planning to be in the Miami area? Have thousands of dollars in spare change sitting around in your sock drawer?
If so, ZERO G has a deal for you.
To mark its fifth anniversary, the company is “slashing” (get it?) its regularly priced tickets for the October 31 flight out of Fort Lauderdale. How much, you ask? The press release doesn’t say. But, the current price is $4,995 per person plus 5 percent sales tax. Five years ago, a flight cost a mere $2,995, so I’m guessing the discount is somewhere between those two numbers.
Want to know more? Call 703.894.2188 or visit www.gozerog.com. Use the promo code 5YEAR.