the weightless wonder…
Darling husband has carried around the dream of space travel since he was a young lad, and while this will likely not be affordable/achievable in our lifetime, I figured the next best thing (as a very special 50th birthday treat I might add), would be to arrange for him to experience the feeling of zero gravity. The opportunity presented itself when I did some pre-birthday research and realized our Utah hiking/Vegas trip coincided with one of the limited pleasure flights the ‘Zero-G Corporation’ offers throughout the year. Ordinarily, as the only service provider globally, this organization works for NASA supporting their zero gravity research projects. From what I can gather, each pleasure flight may have up to 36 passengers – which isn’t surprising given it’s the only place in the world to offer the experience to Joe public. However, we were apparently in the right place at the right time, because Pete’s flight in Las Vegas on June 8th had only 11 passengers – an amazing stroke of luck.
Having a healthy (irrational I know) fear of flying myself, I had opted not to share the experience. Just the thought of a jet plane repeatedly climbing up to 35,000 ft and then diving to 24,000 ft (a total of 15 times over 1.5 hours) makes me weak in the knees. I did sign up as a participant in the pre-flight briefing though and donning my very own flight suite, went out to the executive airstrip to join in the photo-taking and wave the group off. What followed for me was an agonizing 2 hours (that felt like 10), mulling over all the things that might go wrong. Pete on the other hand was having the time of his life, as you can see by the expression of child-like wonder on virtually all of the weightless images below.
Safely back on the ground and sharing a celebratory dinner later that evening – I asked Pete to sum up his experience, to which he excitedly replied “it was over way too fast – I would do it again in a heartbeat”. I’m happy I found the best gift ever for him, but if he wants to become a frequent flyer, we either need a lottery win or I had better start saving my pennies now!
If you’re interested – more info at http://www.gozerog.com/