Swiss Space Systems announces "inexpensive" zero-gravity flights
By Ben Coxworth
May 21, 2014
Although you'll probably never make it to outer space, Swiss Space Systems (S3) is at least trying to move the zero-gravity experience a little closer to reality for the average person. This week, the company announced its plans to start offering what it claims will be the world's cheapest weightlessness-inducing flights, from 15 international locations.
As with other already-existing services, S3's ZeroG flights will involve putting passengers aboard a modified airliner that will perform a series of mid-air parabolas. At the top of each arc, as the plane transitions from climbing to descending, passengers will experience approximately 20 to 25 seconds of weightlessness. Each aircraft will perform 15 parabolas per 90-minute flight.
The planes will be divided into three sections. For a price of under €2,000 (US$2,700), you'll get to share the Party Room with up to 39 other "cheapskates" (for comparison, flights with one of S3's established competitors start at $4,950). If you're willing to pay €5,000 ($6,800), however, you can be one of 28 people in the Premium Zone – this will include the chance to play with items such as liquids and balloons, plus it will get you an exclusive Breitling S3 ZeroG wristwatch and an S3 flight suit to take home.
Finally, a dozen passengers can enjoy a "tailor-made experience" in the VIP Room, which will cost an even €50,000 ($68,000) to book – all of those people will also get a watch and a flight suit.
Passengers will need to be at least 8 years old, and trained staff will be on hand to make sure that people don't knock heads together or otherwise encounter problems. S3 plans on starting the flights in Japan next January, with other locations opening in multiple continents throughout the year.
Source: Swiss Space Systems