Space: Europe's 'Vomit Comet' sets commercial flights

Dec 04, 2012

How much would you pay to emulate astronauts as they float weightlessly in space?

Until now restricted to trainee space explorers and scientists, Europe's "Zero-G" aircraft is to start making for paying customers from March 15, its operators said on Tuesday.

The Airbus 300 flies parabolas, offering around 30 seconds of gravity-free experience at the top of each loop.

Over a flight lasting two and a half hours, those onboard acquire a total of five minutes of , drifting in a big padded cabin.

Three flights are scheduled for 2013, each of them carrying 40 adult passengers, said France's National Centre for Space Studies (), which operates the specially-adapted plane with the firm Novespace.

And the cost? 5,980 euros ($7,770) a head.

Zero-gravity flights are already available commercially in the United States and Russia.

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