Go for a float!

Feeling stressed out about COVID-19, the economy, politics and other such stuff?

How about getting away from it all by going for a nice, virtual float?

Imagine hearing …

Good afternoon passengers. This is your captain speaking. I would like to welcome everyone to your weightless flight. We are cruising at an altitude of 25,000 feet, the weather is clear and sunny, and you will be floating in five minutes.

This is not as far-fetched as it might seem!

There is a company named Zero-G that is offering weightless flights to the general public at airports in major cities around the United States.

This first caught my attention when I saw this article on my local news site.
Zero-gravity flights are coming to New England this spring (Kristi Palma, Boston.com)

A little searching turned up this 360° video from The New York Times that shows a flight with superimposed information about how reduced-gravity aircraft do what they do.

Looks like fun, right?

Apparently professional skateboarders Tony Hawk and Aaron Homoki thought so. Here’s a YouTube video sponsored by Sony that shows them attempting moves in zero gravity.

A bit more rummaging around on YouTube turned up something even more creative.

OK Go, a band known for unusual high jinks, decided to film a music video in zero gravity.

Here’s a CNN segment about how that went.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets sick, or passes out…

The truth is that the original story caught my eye because I had heard that weightlessness tends to induce nausea. Zero gravity aircraft are even nicknamed vomit comets, so I wondered how people could be taking Zero-G’s flights, for fun, without getting sick.

The blurb on Zero-G’s FAQ states that if you follow their pre-flight instructions, you probably won’t get motion sickness. However, some people do, apparently.

If you’re like me, then that means virtual floats via YouTube will do.

On the other hand, if you’re the type who thinks that you can handle the real thing, then you can reserve a seat for around $5,400.

If that price is too steep for you, but you’re the right age, have a Masters degree in a science, technology or engineering field, are in great shape, and a whole boat load of other caveats, then perhaps you should sign-up to be an astronaut instead?

NASA is actually accepting applications this month — here’s their press release!
NASA Seeking Applicants to Explore Moon, Mars (NASA)

Now that’s really getting away from it all!

Find out more about space flight