Life in space experience for Bahrain’s thrill-seekers
Manama, August 19, 2014
Thrill-seekers will have the chance to get a glimpse of life in space next year when a Swiss company brings its 'zero-gravity' flights to Bahrain.
The flights, which offer passengers the opportunity to experience brief periods of near-weightlessness, were first developed by space agencies such as Nasa for the training of astronauts, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
A specially-designed 'reduced gravity aircraft' is used to produce the sensation of weightlessness, by repeatedly climbing at a steep angle towards its maximum altitude before entering a nosedive.
While following this path, the aircraft and its occupants are in freefall at certain points - replicating what it feels like to be in a spacecraft orbiting the Earth.
Scheduled to take place over three days from April 2 to 4, Bahrain's first-ever commercial 'zero-gravity flights' will carry a starting price of BD1,000 ($2,636) and are being organised by private aerospace start-up Swiss Space Systems (S3).
“These ZeroG flights are a first step towards 'Space for All', giving everyone the chance to enjoy the weightlessness experienced by astronauts in space,” said S3 chief executive Pascal Jaussi in a statement.
Bahrain is one of 15 countries worldwide that have been selected to host the 'ZeroG flights' next year, starting in Japan on January 10 and finishing in Puerto Rico on November 29.
“Zero-gravity can be achieved by going into deep space, far from any gravitational body such as planets and stars, by going into orbit - such as on the International Space Station, where the Earth's gravitational pull is minimal - or by taking one of our parabolic flights, by far the easiest option,” said S3 on its website.
“The flights last less than two hours during which time 15 parabolas, each providing 20 to 25 seconds of reduced gravity or weightlessness, are performed.”
Three categories of ticket are on offer from S3 '“ with the ones priced at BD1,000 per head billed as the 'world's most affordable zero-gravity experience' and giving holders access to the plane's 'Party Zone', which caters for up to 40 passengers.
For BD2,500 each, access to the 'Premium Zone' is available '“ offering special activities such as playing with liquids and balloons and a complimentary, personalised Breitling S3 ZeroG watch for a maximum of 28 passengers.
A VIP section of the aircraft can also be hired out for a minimum of BD25,000, offering a 'tailor-made experience' for up to 12 passengers.
Passengers must be at least eight years old, while children aged eight to 14 have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. - TradeArabia News Service