Eight-year-old boys dream of being superheroes -- flying high above the clouds with nothing to limit themselves but their imaginations. For young adventurer Danner Cronise, Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G (R)), the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights, turned this dream into reality and enabled Danner to fly like Superman and enjoy 10-times more hang-time than the world's best basketball player -- all while making history as the youngest person ever to experience a weightless flight.
Danner's adventure truly was a family affair, as he was joined by his father Ray, and older sisters Erin (10) and Alex (12). A NASA engineer for more than 15 years and a co-founder of ZERO-G, Ray Cronise had a unique and personal reason for wanting to see his children enjoy weightlessness first hand. "It is awe inspiring to be able to take your kids on such a memorable experience. Being exposed to these kinds of adventures kindles curiosity and keeps them dreaming," said Ray. Each of his three children had different reasons for loving their ZERO-G experience:
-- Danner loved being tossed like a ball across the plane cabin and was fascinated to see how droplets of water hovered in the air before his eyes during zero gravity. On being the youngest person ever to experience a weightless flight, Danner said, "It makes me feel good and very lucky. The flight was so cool. I was floating and flipping, just like the astronauts in space." He added, "I showed my friends pictures and they all want to go now too. Can I do it again next week?"
-- Erin, an aspiring gymnast, said her favorite part was "being able to do a back flip without needing someone to spot me like in class; I felt like the best gymnast in the world! During one of the first weightless moments, I did a back handspring -- I was so excited!"
-- Alex, the eldest of the three, loved every moment and was especially amused when her coach told her to release a handful of M&M's into the air so she could watch them float before her and chase them down like PacMan. When asked if she would do it again, Alex responded, "Of course I would! It's the most fun thing ever that I have ever done -- more fun than Disneyworld!"
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Co-Founder of ZERO-G said, "The most important part about the Cronise's family adventure is that it underscores what is at the core of the ZERO-G philosophy. We break the paradigm of this incredible sensation of floating being reserved for fairy tales or second-hand experiences and enable people to really fly and feel and see it first-hand. There is no comparison for the experience that ZERO-G delivers -- it is pure exhilaration from the moment you arrive, throughout the flight, and lives on through many talks with others that have never been."
The experience offered by ZERO-G is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true "weightlessness" without going to space. The ZERO-G Experience consists of a brief training session for passengers followed by a 90-minute flight aboard G-Force One. Each ZERO-G mission is designed for maximum fun. The aircraft's interior is a zero gravity playroom, complete with padded floors and walls and video cameras to record the unforgettable moments. The flight includes 15 weightless experiences (parabolas) that last approximately 30 seconds each and range from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6 G) and Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness; ZERO-G delivers twice the amount of weightless time achieved in a typical sub-orbital flight into space. ZERO-G operates under the highest safety standards as set by the FAA (Part-121) with its partner Amerijet International of Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Aircraft operations take place under the same regulations set for large commercial passenger airliners.
Weightless flight is an experience that few have tried, but those who have call it amazing and life-changing. Martha Stewart, Professor Stephen Hawking, Princess Beatrice of York, Amy Grant, Billy Bush, Burt Rutan, Miles O'Brien, and cast members of "The Apprentice," and "The Biggest Loser" are just a few notable passengers who've flown with ZERO-G. Numerous astronauts including Buzz Aldrin and Anousheh Ansari also have experienced ZERO-G voyages. ZERO-G has played a major role in several blockbuster hits including Matrix 2 and Matrix 3. Since launching the ZERO-G Experience to the general public in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 100 weightless flights and flown over 3,000 passengers, including celebrities and media personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers, and individuals age 12 to 93.
Zero Gravity Corporation (http://www.GoZeroG.com) is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of weightlessness accessible to the public. ZERO-G is based in Las Vegas and Florida and is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flight to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government.
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Las Vegas, ZERO-G is led by a world-class team of veteran astronauts and experienced business leaders. The company was co-founded by X PRIZE Chairman and space visionary, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis; and veteran astronaut, Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg. The duo spent more than a decade working to bring the marvel of weightless flight to the public.
The ZERO-G Experience (TM), which includes training led by a professional astronaut, a flight of 15 parabolas, flight suit, complimentary merchandise, awards, a post-event party, photos, and a DVD of the flight, is offered at a price of $3,500 per seat. For the current flight schedule, more information or to book a seat, visit http://www.GoZeroG.com, http://www.sharperimage.com or call 1-800-937-6480.
ZERO-G flights also may be chartered for private events. Since 2004, individual groups of family and friends to top- tier consumer brands like American Express, Hewlett-Packard, Google and Cadbury Schweppes have chartered ZERO-G flights. The ZERO-G Experience builds deep common memories that no ordinary gravity-bound exercise can equal. It is a unique way to express gratitude to important clients and partners. Flights can be rewards, incentives, celebrations and even revenue mechanisms for charitable institutions.