We know about Europe’s space ambitions and that they are suffering from a budget crunch due to the weak economy. So, now they are entering space tourism to offer a chance to experience weightlessness that will in turn help them pay for scientific research. Novespace, a unit of France’s CNES space agency, thought of a great plan and fused science with adventure to provide a ‘zero G’ flight.
The thrilling experience of weightlessness is not anything new to the world thanks to NASA’s ‘Vomit Comet’ which not only trained a generation of American astronauts but was also used in the film ‘Apollo 13’. And now, such flights are used for research and to prepare equipment fo the International Space Station.
But Novespace claims to be leading the pack in scientific deployment with a converted Airbus A300 jetliner. The Airbus is the biggest aircraft in the world to pffer weightlessness for the scientific community. French test pilots fly the Airbus in parabloc arcs in a air corridor over the Atlantic just like a roller coaster. Passengers feel twice their normal weight during the climb and the descent but experience weightlessness for 22 seconds.
We hear the price tag would be 3,000 euros ($3,869) for 30 parabolas or 22-second bursts of weightlessness in 11 minutes.