Vienna, Va. – May 27, 2011 – Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) announced today that the company had received a Safety Approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
The Safety Approval, granted on April 20, 2011 and in effect for five years, allows ZERO-G to offer reduced gravity parabolic flight profiles to prospective suborbital launch operators to meet the applicable components of the crew qualification and training requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (14 C.F.R. § 460.5). These regulations require crew members to complete training on how to carry out their roles on board or on the ground and to demonstrate the ability to withstand the stresses of spaceflight, which may include high acceleration or deceleration, microgravity, and vibration.
“ZERO-G is pleased to have been granted this Safety Approval issued by the FAA for suborbital spaceflight training. Parabolic flight will be an integral training system for crew and passengers in the growing suborbital market,” said Terese Brewster, president of ZERO-G.
The FAA has determined that ZERO-G has the ability to provide a flight environment capable of replicating reduced gravity levels. These profiles include 0.00 g +/- 0.05 g for 17 continuous seconds, 0.16 g +/- 0.05 g for 20 continuous seconds and 0.38 g +/- 0.05 g for 20 continuous seconds.
Dr. George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA, congratulated ZERO-G on receiving the Safety Approval. “The training that ZERO-G offers with its parabolic aircraft flights provides an outstanding opportunity for crewmembers to experience firsthand the reduced gravity environment that is so uniquely associated with spaceflight. By allowing crewmembers to have that experience prior to launch, it will definitely help them to be better prepared for their missions.”
“Not only does ZERO-G have the capability of preparing crew and passengers for spaceflight, the company also offers the scientific community the opportunity to reduce the risk of experiment failure prior to launch,” continued Ms. Brewster. “Parabolic flight is the critical first step in achieving space research objectives. The ZERO-G Weightless Lab increases the probability that equipment will perform to specification and experiment protocols will be successful while in space.”
Zero Gravity Corporation is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of weightlessness accessible to the public. ZERO-G is based in Vienna, Va. and is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flights to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government.
Founded in 1993, ZERO-G is led by a world-class team of veteran astronauts and experienced business leaders. The company was co-founded by X PRIZE Chairman and space visionary, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis; former NASA astronaut, Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg; and NASA engineer Ray Cronise. The team spent more than a decade working to bring the marvel of weightless flight to the public.
Since launching the ZERO-G Experience in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 250 weightless flights and flown over 6,000 members of the public, including celebrities and media personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers, and individuals aged eight to 93.
ZERO-G operates under the highest safety standards as set by the FAA (Part-121) with its partner Amerijet International Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Aircraft operations take place under the same regulations set for large commercial passenger airliners.