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The Weightlessness Experience

Aboard "G-Force One" - July 11, 2009
I had the opportunity to do one of the most amazing things a person can do - Experience weightlessness just like an orbiting astronaut.
 
I took a flight on G-Force One, a modified Boeing 727 which flies parabolic flights to give the passengers the experience of zero gravity. The company that operates the plane, Zero-G, is the only private company in the U.S. licensed by the FAA to perform these types of flights.
 
The plane climbs to 32,000 feet, then dives down to 24,000 feet and as you crest the top of the arc, you free fall inside the plane. The interesting part is that without the wind whizzing past you, you just float as if you were in space. Each weightless period last for about 20 seconds and at the bottom of each parabola, you experience a force of 1.8 g's as the plane climbs for the next dive.
 
Actually experiencing this is incredible. You can fly like Superman, or just float in the air. You can catch candies in your mouth as they float past, or climb up the walls, across the ceiling and back down again. What a unique experience. I was even tossed around like a beach ball at one point.
 
I may never get to travel to space, but now I know what it feels like, at least a little bit. ....And yes, I did get sick, but it was only towards the end of the flight, so it wasn't too bad. The experience was completely worth the discomfort.
Zero G Flight

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G-Force One, a modified Boeing 727

Getting ready to climb on board.

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Zero Gravity!!

Flying like a super hero.

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Here, I'm getting tossed like a ball from one side of the plane to another.

It is hard not to smile when you are weightless.

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Floating in mid-air is difficult to describe.

Back on the runway after a great flight.

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A group shot.

The air field at NASA's Ames Research Center in San Jose, California.