MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - Commercial, weightless flights will be offered this weekend at Moffett Field, Calif., under the terms of an agreement with the Zero Gravity Corp, Las Vegas. Although corporation officials said the first flight scheduled Saturday, Feb. 16 is already sold out, additional flights will be scheduled later this year.
"We're delighted to have signed this historic agreement with ZERO-G," said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. "This will further NASA's goal of pursuing mutually beneficial partnerships with the emerging commercial space sector."
A Reimbursable Space Act Agreement between NASA's Ames and the corporation, known as ZERO-G, allows the corporation to park its aircraft on the airfield while flight operations are being conducted and during scheduled flights. The agreement also calls for NASA and ZERO-G to develop research collaborations starting this fall.
During its flight operations at NASA's Ames, ZERO-G will use a modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, called G-Force One, and fly from the Moffett Field runway. Passengers aboard the aircraft will experience for brief periods the same weightlessness that the space shuttle astronauts encounter while orbiting the Earth, as well as the same gravity conditions they would experience on the moon and on Mars.
"We are honored to be able to fly from Moffett Field and allow our passenger the opportunity to fly like superman and float in midair just like NASA astronauts from an actual NASA center," said Peter H. Diamandis, chairman of ZERO-G. ZERO-G was recently awarded a contract from NASA to conduct research and astronaut training.
While new to NASA's Ames, this is not the first time that these weightless flights have taken place at a NASA center. In 2006, ZERO-G reached an agreement with NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to use the space shuttle runway for similar weightless flights for the public. ZERO-G began operating weightless flights for the public at Kennedy June 24, 2006, flying up to seven flights per week, up to a maximum of 280 flights a year.
As part of the agreement, the corporation will reimburse NASA for the use of the runway and support costs.
The scheduling of ZERO-G flights at Moffett Field will not interfere with NASA missions, other resident federal agencies, or with airfield operations or other activities. All flights will be conducted during daylight hours, according to ZERO-G officials. The Boeing 727-200 is a Stage 3 aircraft, which is one of the quietest aircraft in service.
For more information about ZERO-G, call 800-937-6480 or visit: http://www.GoZeroG.com
For more information on NASA programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov