Sunday, October 09, 2005

NEW Vomit Comet Vacations


October 8, 2005
Zero-gravity tourists head to KSC
Modified Boeing 727 is used for flights. Zero G image. Enlarge this image
Zero-G's flights
Main airport: Fort Lauderdale; a Nov. 20 flight is scheduled for Titusville Plane: Modified Boeing 727-200 Altitude of maneuvers: 24,000 to 34,000 feet Number of parabolas per flight: About 15 Time weightless per maneuver: 25 to 30 secondsCost per flight: $3,750 plus tax Online:
CAPE CANAVERAL - Teachers will experience the weightlessness of space in a weekend of parabolic flights from Kennedy Space Center during a pilot program that could bring commercial flights to the shuttle landing strip.
Zero-G's proposal was one of a handful of responses to KSC's request for ideas on using the landing facility. NASA made the announcement Friday.
"We're hoping this will lead to a regular thing," Zero-G spokesman Noah McMahon said. "We would actually love to be a permanent resident at the Kennedy Space Center."
The list of teachers who will be flying Nov. 5-6 is not complete. They will conduct experiments on the four planned flights and take inspiration back to their classrooms, McMahon said.
NASA also is negotiating with other organizations that submitted proposals to use the Shuttle Landing Facility, said Jim Ball, spaceport development manager at KSC.
For now, the agency is trying to demonstrate that it's possible to open its facilities to non-NASA users, he said.
The NASA spaceships that come after the shuttles won't use the runway. They are expected to land using parachutes, probably in California.
Zero Gravity Corp. mostly flies out of its Fort Lauderdale headquarters but has a Nov. 20 flight scheduled from Titusville. A flight costs $3,750 and creates short periods of lunar gravity, Martian gravity and zero gravity during a series of bell-curve-shaped ascents and descents.
Contact Kridler at 242-3633 or

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