Famed ZERO G (Weightless) Jet Begins Its 2021 Nat'l Tour in Long Beach;
(March 13, 2021, 6:20 a.m.) -- The nationally famous ZERO G (weightlessness-producing) aircraft begins its 2021 national tour today (March 13) at Long Beach, CA airport (LGB) fully booked with 24 individuals eager to experience what fewer than 20,000 persons in all of human history have experienced: floating completely free of gravity.
The demand (at $6,700 per flier plus tax) for the zero gravity parabolas (12 with complete weightlessness preceded by 3 at reduced moon and Mars gravity) prompted the company to offer a second LGB flight on March 27 and the company webskte (viewed today) indicates the March 27 LGB flight is fully booked inviting a wait list.
The flights meet consumer demand for space-related tourism and the company, based in Arlington, VA, recently announced expansion plans.
On February 25, 2021, the Zero Gravity corporation announced investment from private equity firm Rock Mountain Capital to expand its weightless flight operations for consumer fliers and educational and scientific research.
A Zero G release said that with the support of RMC's investment and others like it, "ZERO-G has ambitious plans to launch the company into an expanded era of operations, including the addition of another specialized aircraft, new takeoff cities, innovative applications of weightless research lab and more."
ZERO G's current flight schedule includes Las Vegas, Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale (one flight accompanied by scientific researchers includes 30 parabolas instead of the usual 15 for $8,750), Kennedy Space Center (FL), New York City, Indianapolis and Denver.
The company web site indicates there's a wait list for future Long Beach flights with the next scheduled LGB flight on Feb. 5, 2022. However the company is nimble and has added flights as demand warrants. In 2020 it flew from Long Beach in August and October.
The flights offered by ZERO-G are the only FAA-approved opportunities in the U.S. of their kind, and RMC investor David Stonehill (added to ZERO G's Board of Directors) said "ZERO-G's unique experience is valued by consumers, corporate customers, entertainment companies, and scientific research teams at NASA and beyond. We are excited to support ZERO-G's ongoing growth under the leadership of CEO Matt Gohd, who has revitalized the company."
Among those who've flown aboard the Zero G aircraft have been scientist Stephen Hawking, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Peter Jackson, George Takei, Justin Bieber, Kate Upton (professional photo shoot), Martha Stewart, The Osbournes, Ashton Kutcher and many others.
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The company has also conducted 211 research missions, leading to advances ` in multiple industries .As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, when the Mars Perseverance rover made its expertly executed February 18, 2021 Martian landing, scientists had confidence it wouldn't sink in unsupportive Martian soil or topple over in less-than-Earthly gravity, and had confidence they could drill into the Martian surface to collect unprecedented data. This was due in part to 2015 experiments conducted aboard the Zero G aircraft by a team of CalTech scientists including Jose Andrade, PhD, Cal Tech Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering; Chair of CalTech's Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and its Executive Officer He's the man floating up at the ceiling in the photo below (courtesy GoZeroG.com)
(To hear Feb. 2021 LBREPORT.com conversation with Prof. Andrade here.)
LBREPORT.com publisher Bill Pearl, the only Long Beach reporter aboard Zero G's Oct, 25 Long Beach flight, said it's not a roller-coaster stomach-dropping adrenaline pumping sensation, but "ethereal, other-worldly, gentle physically but intense for one's senses." He called it incomparable, "off the charts amazing," beyond anything he'd ever experienced.
Scientist Andrade and publisher Pearl both independently used the same term to describe the weightless experience: "beautiful."
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