Qatar’s first-ever zero-gravity flights to take place next year

Daisy's picture
Daisy

Qatar’s first-ever zero-gravity flights for civilians are scheduled to take place in April 2015 as part of  the ZeroG “Space for All” project, being organised in over 15 locations around the world by Swiss Space Systems (S3).

Participants from Qatar will board a modified Airbus for around two hours, with each flight including 15 “parabolas” or free floats lasting between 20 and 25 seconds, providing a chance to experience total weightlessness by floating as if in space.

Registration is now open for the zero-gravity flights via www.zerog.s-3.ch

The dates allotted for Qatar, according to the website are April 23-25, 2015. A ticket will cost $2,665 (QR9,700)  in “Party Zone”, and $6694 (QR24,366) in “Premium Zone”. VIP Room can be booked on special request, but the cost is not mentioned.

Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bahrain, the UAE, Russia, Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, France, Morocco, Gran Canaria, Canada, the US, Ecuador, and Puerto Rico are the other locations for the ZeroG flights as per the calendar from January to November 2015.

S3 states that these flights are quite safe. “The main space agencies (Nasa, ESA, Roscosmos and JAXA) have been operating them for several decades, and our aircraft is certified for parabolic flights and more precise than other platforms presently available,” the company says.

Passengers must be over eight years old. Passengers between eight and 14 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A doctor should be consulted to see if the ZeroG experience is suitable in cases of pregnancy, heart conditions, back problems, or the other health conditions listed on the medical history form which must be signed by all passengers.

Flights are supervised by space professionals and a crew of qualified personnel. Passengers are not permitted to carry cameras with them for security reasons. This also applies to smartphones.

S3 ZeroG is a part of Swiss Space Systems Holding SA - S3. The S3 group aims to develop, build, certify and operate suborbital, reusable shuttle for the deployment of small satellites in 2018. The suborbital shuttle will be carried on the back of an Airbus aircraft.

Meanwhile, the ZeroG sponsor Breitling, the luxury Swiss watch maker and chronograph specialist, yesterday announced a limited edition watch, the Chronograph S3, which will be issued as a memento to all premium and VIP room passengers.

This timepiece is equipped with a light and sturdy black titanium case and a SuperQuartz movement, which is 10 times more accurate than standard quartz. It is distinguished by its S3 logo appearing on the dial and the rubber strap, as well as by its caseback engraving depicting a parabolic flight. It will serve as a boarding card for passengers and will not be commercialised outside this flight programme.

Nabil Abu Issa, vice chairman of Blue Salon Qatar, said: “Opportunities like this are rare. Breitling is known for its continuous passion and dedication when it comes to instruments for aviation professionals and as distributors of this prestigious brand in Qatar, we are excited to be a part of what is a first in our country. I encourage all customers and fans of aviation and adventure to take this once in a lifetime opportunity and register now.”

Aed Adwan, Breitling sales manager for the Middle East, said: “Breitling has shared all of our finest aviation moments over the past 130 years with fellow enthusiasts and by aligning ourselves with this incredible project, we are continuing this tradition. We have come a long way since Breitling made its first weightless flight voyage in 1962 and are delighted to be working with S3 to offer the first ever civilian weightless flights in Qatar.’’

Photo: www.virgin.com