With the prospect of ordinary folks being able to bounce around the Moon remaining an unlikely proposition for the foreseeable future, all is not lost for zero G thrill-seekers.
Next year, three flights will be offered in a specially adapted Airbus 300 which can produce short bursts of weightlessness.
At the top of each loop manoeuvre, passengers can enjoy around half a minute of gravity-free, parabola- fun. With each flight lasting two and a half hours, passengers should be able to enjoy a total of around five minutes of weightlessness.
To avoid bumps and knocks from the inevitable fall back to earth at the end of each period of weightlessness, the cabin interior is padded.
A similar US-based venture called GoZeroG explains how weightlessness is achieved:
Before starting a parabola, G-FORCE ONE flies level to the horizon at an altitude of 24,000 feet. The pilots then begins to pull up, gradually increasing the angle of the aircraft to about 45° to the horizon reaching an altitude of 34,000 feet. During this pull-up, passengers will feel the pull of 1.8 Gs. Next the plane is “pushed over” to create the zero gravity segment of the parabola. For the next 20-30 seconds everything in the plane is weightless. Next a gentle pull-out is started which allows the flyers to stabilize on the aircraft floor
Operated in association with Novespace, three flights are scheduled to take off next year, each offering 40 adults the chance to enjoy a real zero G experience. We’d be the first in the queue if it wasn’t for the price, which is suitably sky high at around £4,800 ( 5,980 REuro/$7,770)