NASA and Zero-G Agree on Regular Shuttle Runway Use

April 4, 2006

NASA and Zero Gravity Corp. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced today the company -- known as ZERO-G -- will begin to regularly use the space shuttle's runway and landing facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. This agreement is the result of a successful pilot program to expand runway access for non-NASA activities.

Beginning with its first flight for the public on June 24, ZERO-G will conduct up to 280 weightless flights annually from the Kennedy facility using a modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, called G-Force One. NASA has agreed to permit as many as seven ZERO-G flights a week under a Space Act Agreement that provides for reimbursement of the agency's runway and support costs.

In November, ZERO-G became the first company to participate in the pilot program to open the 15,000-foot runway for non-NASA use. The agreement is the first for regular non-NASA flights from the space center. NASA hopes this agreement will broaden the public's interest in spaceflight and increase awareness of its importance.

"We are extremely pleased to have ZERO-G sign on as a regular user of our Shuttle Landing Facility," said Kennedy Space Center Director Jim Kennedy. "This is the ideal place for activities that share the experience of space flight with the general public."

In addition to exposing passengers to the weightlessness astronauts experience while orbiting Earth, the roller coaster-like parabolic flights also allow flyers to experience the same gravity conditions one would feel on the moon and on Mars, providing a glimpse of what future NASA crews will encounter.

"Conducting our flights from the Kennedy Space Center -- one of the most internationally-recognized and frequented venues for space travel and education -- is a perfect match for ZERO-G," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and chief executive officer of ZERO-G. "This is a meaningful step in the growth and expansion of our service as we continue to bring the fun and exhilaration of weightless flight to the general public."

The scheduling of ZERO-G flights from Kennedy will not interfere with NASA missions or other activities.

Source: NASA

Explore further: UW-Madison zero-gravity team finds spray cooling works in space

Related Stories

Geeky 'tweeters' to report on space shuttle launch

November 15, 2009

(AP) -- Fingers will be flying when space shuttle Atlantis blasts off Monday: About 100 of NASA's geekiest fans will be on hand, pecking away at iPhones, BlackBerrys, laptops and other Twittering gadgets.

Astronauts take spacewalk No. 3 after suit snag

November 23, 2009

(AP) -- A pair of astronauts stepped out on the third and final spacewalk of their shuttle mission Monday, helping to install an enormous oxygen tank at the International Space Station.

Recommended for you

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Uncovering the secrets of water and ice as materials

December 7, 2016

Water is vital to life on Earth and its importance simply can't be overstated—it's also deeply rooted within our conscience that there's something extremely special about it. Yet, from a scientific point of view, much remains ...

Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. ...

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs

December 7, 2016

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have designed a nano crystal around 500 times smaller than a human hair that turns darkness into visible light and can be used to create light-weight night-vision glasses.

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.