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Zero-G plane flights: a cheaper way to experience space?

Posted by: The Legionnaire - Sat Apr 24, 2004 11:58 pm
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Zero-G plane flights: a cheaper way to experience space? 

How will zero-g plane rides affect the space tourism industry?
Will hurt: Its lower price tag will take customers away from real spaceflights 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Will help: It will whet the appetite of would-be space tourist 88%  88%  [ 14 ]
Not sure: we won't know for a few years 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 16

Zero-G plane flights: a cheaper way to experience space? 
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Space Walker
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Post Zero-G plane flights: a cheaper way to experience space?   Posted on: Sat Apr 24, 2004 11:58 pm
Alan Boyle of MSNBC.com reports that an American company, Zero-G Corp, will be offering zero-gravity parabolic flights to the public by June.

According to Boyle, "The flights, modeled after the ones provided by NASA's "Vomit Comet," would give paying passengers about 20 short doses of zero-gravity in the course of a 90-minute flight... Zero Gravity's flights are scheduled to get off the ground in June, assuming the Federal Aviation Association approves."

Boyle notes that a different company already "offers a similar zero-G experience, but you have to go to Russia and fly on an Ilyushin-76 to get it. List price for the Russian tour package is $6,995.
The price point for Zero Gravity's offering would be substantially less than that — $2,950 — and Americans wouldn't have to take the long trip to Russia."

"The company could start taking deposits for later flights as early as next week. Watch the Web site for updates. Diamandis noted that he's been working on the project since 1993 — and hopes that Zero Gravity will be "an overnight success after 11 years of hard work."

It will be interesting to watch how popular this experience is, compared to actual space tourism. After all, one of the main attractions of flying in space is zero-G. But why would you pay $100,000 for a real suborbital flight when you can pay $3,000 for a much safer airplane flight?
On the other hand, you could argue that zero-G flights would provide great PR and whet the appetite of would-be space tourist. A millionaire who is considering a expensive space tourism flight might take a zero-G flight first to see if he'll enjoy the real ride.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 12:09 am
Well.. personal..

I've voted for: "Will help: It will whet the appetite of would-be space tourist"

Why...

"Its lower price tag will take customers away from real spaceflights"
For people who want to feel zero-g oke.. but space also gives a very nice view of earth.
And after zero-g most people will say "wow :shock: "... and they wanne do it "again :) ".. for people with not that much money.. they may do only zero-g... but spaceflight would be too expensive for them..
It will "stop" some people from doing spaceflights.. but I think in the end.. it will do more good then bad..

"Will help: It will whet the appetite of would-be space tourist"
I see it as a cheaper way.. kinda like advertisement.. get the first part of the sweet cake for a lower price ;)
Even if you only wanne have the cheap part ;) after it.. you'll be amazed.. you'll love it.. and you're going to want more...

"Not sure: we won't know for a few years"
Well.. no I'm not sure... but I can't be sure about "everything"... ;) so I just try to get some idea... keep my mind open to other ideas.. and keep smiling...

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:24 am
wicked.

X'ers only offer 4-15 mins of zero G.

Also why are there no outfits offering Space Diving from 100K ft ballons?

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 1:07 pm
However, even if a zero-G plane ride can duplicate one of the most attractive features of a space flight, it cannot duplicate the prestige associated with actually flying into space. You'd part of an exclusive club if you flew into space.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:48 pm
The Legionnaire wrote:
However, even if a zero-G plane ride can duplicate one of the most attractive features of a space flight, it cannot duplicate the prestige associated with actually flying into space. You'd part of an exclusive club if you flew into space.


I tend to agree with this comment. I don't think that these airplane flights could be called a substitute (which would harm suborbital) or a complementary product (which would help suborbital). It is neither, a different industry with a different target market.

I wouldn't do it, I'd invest the $3000 and hope to generate enough to actually fly into space in a few years.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 30, 2004 8:53 pm
Instead of doing it by poll, let us see what the market decides. If the company does well, then there is demand, and it can do nothing but help in the long run.

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Post I can't wait... for a lower price   Posted on: Sat May 01, 2004 11:09 pm
When I first heard about Zero-g Cop I immediately loved the idea. The thrill of parabolic 0-g flights for less money and without the muss and fuss of going over to Russia with Space Adventures. But still $3,000? What's keeping the price so high, we have plane tickets on sale for less than $90 if you book far enough in advance. Okay, factoring in one thenth the number of customers, better pilots, intense inspections, it will be higher per customer, but still, I'd think $1,200 would be resonable. It'll get that low eventually, I assume, maybe they're just seeing how big the market is right now.

A couple of years ago my family and I went to Six Flags: Magic Mountain, and one of the rides we agreed to go on was Superman, which accelerates the cars up to 100 mph up a 4.5 g incline to a vertical track for a total of 5 seconds of weightlessness. We waited for an hour in line, and my main thought we we got to the ride was "this had better be good." It was definately the best single ride I went on in the entire stay at the park. Sure, it's only five seconds of weightlessness, but you can't imagine the sheer euphoria of what that feels like untill you've actually done it. My brother got out a penny and for those seconds it just hovered in midair, come to think of it, it's probably not a very good idea to stand under the ride. It's an amazing experience.

Was there a 0-g ride option for around $1,500 I'd spring for it immediately. That is, if I had a job and money and were older than 15. For $3,000 I'm a little hesitant, I'll wait and se what comes along in the near future. Now how to convince my family to go along with this... :)

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Post    Posted on: Sat May 01, 2004 11:59 pm
busch gardens williamsburg has apollo's chariot, which is really a different ride from superman, which i haven't been on, but it has about 5 seconds of weightlessness in it too, maybe a bit more. i've also been cliffjumping once or twice (not all that high), and that's weightlessness too. definitely a euphoric feeling, i would love to do a zero-g plane ride.

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Post    Posted on: Sun May 02, 2004 12:29 pm
Quote:
But still $3,000? What's keeping the price so high, we have plane tickets on sale for less than $90


I think the reason that the flights cost more is because the number of passengers per flight is much fewer, and you probably need specially trained pilots.


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