Ready to Let Your Hair Down (Err... Up)?
by jason fitzroy jeffers
Space travel is one step closer as the Zero-G Experience brings weightlessness to Miami.
Passengers get a taste of weightlessness aboard a Zero-G flight.
Can you imagine anything more blissful than swimming through the air, unburdened of your weight and gravity itself? Take a second to really think about it. Chances are you’ll come up short. If you’ve seen footage of astronauts floating in space stations and have found yourself jealous, you now have something to add to your bucket list: an opportunity to experience weightlessness, thanks to the Zero-G Experience.
Founded in 2004 by futurist/entrepreneur Peter H. Diamandis and Byron K. Lichtenberg, a former NASA astronaut, Zero-G conducts flights on a specially modified Boeing 727 that jets high into the atmosphere and performs a series of parabolic arcs to give passengers on board a taste of weightlessness. “They knew the average person would not get to experience space in their lifetime, so it was the closest thing to feeling what it would be like up there without having to leave the atmosphere,” says Terese Brewster, the president and chief operating officer of Zero-G.
Since launching a decade ago, more than 12,000 people have boarded the Zero-G plane, many of them celebrities who were just as geeked out as the average Joe. Physicist Stephen Hawking apparently still raves about his flight, and buxom supermodel Kate Upton was recently photographed during her float for the Sports Illustrated 50th-anniversary Swimsuit Issue.
Zero-G uses a specially modified Boeing 727 for its experience.
However, superstars are far from the most VIP to take the flight. “Flying with celebrities has been great, but really, the most touching flights are ones we’ve flown with kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation or guys from the Wounded Warrior Project,” says Brewster. “We also did a flight with Nickelodeon for a show called The View from My Chair for children who have been in wheelchairs their whole life. For some of them it was the first time they were able to stand up straight.”
A Zero-G flight costs exponentially more than the average plane ticket—$4,950 per passenger—but given that you’re probably not going to astronaut training anytime soon, it might be entirely worth it. “It’s so different from any other experience you can have,” says Brewster. “It’s otherworldly.” Zero-G will be staging flights in Miami on Saturday, May 24, and Sunday, May 25. For more information, visit gozerog.com
photography by steve boxall/zero-g
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.