If you were over the moon after witnessing the recent flights hauling billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson — and even final frontier fave Captain Kirk — to space, then an out-of-this-world experience launching from Austin may have you thanking your lucky stars for the chance to become a bona fide space cadet.
The Zero-G Experience, operated by privately held space entertainment and tourism company Zero Gravity Corporation, will land in Austin on March 20, giving locals the opportunity to hop aboard the FAA-approved G-Force One, a modified Boeing 727-200 that allows passengers to experience the feeling of weightlessness — without actually traveling to space.
Billed as an experience that’s like nothing on earth, the Zero-G Experience enables flyers to encounter a weightless environment in which they can “float, flip, and soar like an astronaut,” all without actually slipping the surly bonds of Earth.
According to the Zero Gravity Corp., here’s how it works: “The process starts with the aircraft flying level with the horizon at an altitude of 24,000 feet. The pilots then gradually increase the angle of the aircraft to about 45 degrees relative to the horizon until reaching an altitude of 32,000 feet. During this phase, passengers feel the pull of 1.8 Gs. Next, the plane pushes over the top of the parabolic arc and the zero-gravity phase begins. For the next 20-30 seconds, everything in the plane is weightless. Finally, the plane gently pulls out of the maneuver, allowing flyers to gradually return to the floor of the aircraft.”
The flight enables guests to experience lunar gravity (one-sixth their weight), as well as Martian gravity (one-third their weight).
And you don’t even have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy this spaced-out experience. However, from the come-back-down-to-earth reality side of things, you will have to drop a pretty penny for the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity.
The five-hour Austin Zero-G Experience, which includes 15 parabola (gravity-free) acrobatic maneuvers, costs $8,200 per person. (People of all abilities and ages 8 and older are welcome; though those with certain medical conditions may need to get doctor approval.) The purchase price includes a Zero-G flight suit, Zero-G merch, a certificate of weightless completion, and photos and videos from the experience.
A Zero-G medical pro will also conduct a rapid COVID-19 test on all passengers prior to flight.
Austinites can book tickets for the local flight here.
Aside from Austin, the only other Texas city the Zero-G Experience will visit is Houston, with the flight taking off from Space City on March 19.
For more info and to watch videos of the Zero-G Experience, visit the Zero-G website.