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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Stephen Hawking to take a Zero-G Flight

If anyone deserves it...

Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G(R)), announced today that Prof. Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist and expert on gravity, will fly weightless on The ZERO-G Experience(TM) on April 26, 2007. The flight will take off from the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida.

Prof. Hawking's best selling books, "A Brief History of Time" and "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays" examines the basic laws, history and future of the universe. Hawking is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also made public his interest in experiencing weightlessness, and the importance of space as the next frontier for human population.

"As someone who has studied gravity and black holes all of my life, I am excited to experience, first hand, weightlessness and a zero-gravity environment," said Prof. Hawking. "I am thankful to Zero Gravity Corporation for making this experience available to the general public, especially for disabled individuals."

"It is truly an honor to have Prof. Stephen Hawking aboard The ZERO-G Experience(TM)," stated Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Co-Founder of ZERO-G. "Our mission is to make the excitement and adventure of space and weightlessness accessible and enjoyable. Flying Prof. Hawking helps us demonstrate how this unique experience, once available only to astronauts, is now available to everyone."

The Hawking flight has been organized for a number of reasons, including as a benefit for several charitable organizations including Easter Seals (; the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation (; the X PRIZE Foundation ( and Augie's Quest ( Each of these groups will be given two seats aboard the flight to auction off.

Space Florida, the organization charged with promoting commercial space in the state of Florida, has come aboard as a sponsor of the flight. "We are excited and proud to have Professor Hawking fly from the Kennedy Space Center aboard a Florida-based commercial carrier," said Steve Kohler, Executive Director of the Space Florida.

The ZERO-G Experience consists of a brief training session for flyers (ZERO-G passengers) followed by a 90-minute flight aboard G-Force One, during which parabolic maneuvers are performed. The controlled ascent and descent of the plane allows flyers to experience gravity on Mars (1/3-gravity); the moon (1/6-gravity); and in zero-g space. Since launching its service to the general public in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 100 weightless flights and flown more than 2,500 passengers, including celebrities and personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers, and individuals age 12 to 85.

G-Force One is a specially-modified, 35-passenger Boeing 727-200, and The ZERO-G Experience(TM) is the only FAA-approved weightless flight experience available to the general public. The weightless flights are similar to those conducted by NASA for more than 40 years to train its astronauts. ZERO-G was recently granted FAA approval to fly individuals with disabilities. ZERO-G operates under the highest safety standards as set by the FAA (Part-121) with its partner Amerijet International. Aircraft operations take place under the same regulations set for commercial passenger airlines.

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