Vienna, Va. - March 19, 2008 - Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced that as of January 1, 2008, the company completed an acquisition of the Florida and Las Vegas based Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) by increasing its equity stake to 100% ownership.
"Space Adventures has been one of the largest investors in ZERO-G for years. Our decision to acquire the remaining equity in ZERO-G is a strategic fit within Space Adventures' overall business plan, strengthening our position as the only operational commercial spaceflight services company," said Eric Anderson, President and CEO of Space Adventures. "Because the ZERO-G experience is available to the public at such a reasonable price point, we'll enable tens of thousands of people to take part in one the most exhilarating aspects of spaceflight, weightlessness."
"Bringing the companies together allows us to provide a range of exclusive commercial spaceflight services from parabolic flights to orbital missions," said Peter H. Diamandis, CEO of ZERO-G. "ZERO-G will continue as its own brand, but now has the opportunity to be the entry point for a series of vertically integrated space experiences worldwide."
Diamandis, also a co-Founder of Space Adventures, will continue as the CEO of the ZERO-G operating unit, but also joins as Managing Director of the parent company Space Adventures, Ltd. Byron Lichtenberg, co-Founder of ZERO-G and former NASA astronaut, will continue as CTO of ZERO-G. "I'm very excited that Peter Diamandis, who has been a leading visionary in the space industry since co-founding Space Adventures with me in 1998, and Byron Lichtenberg, an astronaut and true American hero, will be working with us to continue growing the company and building this new industry," said Anderson.
Since 2004, ZERO-G has flown over 175 missions, providing the weightless experience to more than 5,000 customers, including Stephen Hawking. In January 2008, the company won a research and training contract from NASA worth up to $25 million (USD).
Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) has operations in Florida and Las Vegas and is the first and only Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved provider of weightless flight to the general public. The company provides flights to the film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government. The company was co-founded, in 1993, by X PRIZE Chairman and space visionary, Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.; veteran astronaut, Byron K. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., and NASA Engineer Ray Cronise.
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.
The ZERO-G Experience consists of a brief training session for passengers followed by a 90-minute flight aboard G-Force One, during which parabolic maneuvers are performed; Flyers experience Martian gravity (1/3-gravity), Lunar gravity (1/6-gravity), and zero gravity. For more information, please visit www.GoZeroG.com.
About Space Adventures:
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world's first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit www.SpaceAdventures.com.