Until now restricted to trainee space explorers and scientists, Europe’s “Zero-G” aircraft is to start making commercial flights for paying customers from March 15.
The Airbus 300 flies parabolas, offering around 30 seconds of gravity-free experience at the top of each loop. Over a flight lasting two and a half hours, those onboard acquire a total of five minutes of weightlessness, drifting in a big padded cabin.
Three flights are scheduled for 2013, each of them carrying 40 adult passengers, said France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), which operates the specially-adapted plane with the firm Novespace.
And the cost? 5,980 euros ($7,770) a head. Zero-gravity flights are already available commercially in the United States and Russia.