New space tourism venture offers Borderland residents the chance to be weightless without traveling to space

HOUSTON, Texas — Space tourism company Zero-G Experience invites Borderland residents to experience what it’s like to be weightless in space, but ascend only 36,000 feet in an airplane. In March, the company will be in Houston and Austin, offering people the chance to board a specially equipped Boeing 727 and float in zero gravity for far less than millionaires and celebrities paid to fly on board. of a Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic spacecraft. .

Jack O’Neill, director of strategic initiatives for Zero-G Experience, appeared on ABC-7 at 4 a.m. Monday. O’Neill explained that the company was founded in the mid-1990s with the idea of ​​creating a research arena to study fluids in weightlessness and how they will interact before sending them into space. This idea took 11 years of FAA approval. Now Zero-G Experience is the only company to offer parabolic flights to the general public.

O’Neill explained what a parabolic flight is. “So all of our pilots are specially trained to fly the plane in this parabolic motion, and they tilt the nose of the plane for about 45 seconds, where all the passengers inside the capsule are lying down, and they pull about 1.8G, and then you get a moment of weightlessness when they stop at the top and you get about 30 to 40 seconds of true weightlessness when you’re up there And so on all of our commercial flights we do this 15 times. So in total you get about seven to eight minutes of weightless time up there.”

O’Neill said that while the parabolic flight is the same one used by NASA to train astronauts, it’s not like what astronauts call “the vomit comet.”

“Although some people get sick, it’s often very rare to see this happen,” O’Neill said. “We have trained flight attendants on board as well as specialist coaches who can remedy the situation. But the majority of people who get off the flight do so with a smile and no real fear of getting sick.”

While it’s not cheap to fly with Zero-G Experience, it’s much cheaper than flying on Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic.

“The price for our general flights is $8,200 per seat,” O’Neill said. “We have flights available on our website at These flights extend from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, we will be in Houston on March 19, in Austin on March 20, all the way to Long Beach, so we cover most of the country. »

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