Qatar passengers start booking for zero gravity flights

August 24, 2014 - 1:54:35 am

By FAZEENA SALEEM 

DOHA: Passengers from Doha keen to experience a zero gravity flight have started to book their journey within a few days after registration opened last week.

A modified plane will give its passengers the chance to freely float like astronauts and live out the ultimate experience of the absence of gravitational pull. 

‘S3 ZeroG’ of Swiss Space Systems as part of its project ‘Space for All’ will bring a first-of-its-kind experience to Doha in April 2015. The Airbus moving to more than 15 locations around the world will be in Qatar between April 23 and 25. 

Organisers expect that the flights will be fully booked before the deadline for registration — a month ahead of the journey.

“People from Doha have started registering already… We can book a flight up to 30 days before the journey. But we expect the flights to be fully booked before that,” a spokesperson for S3 ZeroG told this daily in an email interview. 

‘S3 ZeroG’ aircraft will be on a world tour throughout 2015. Prior to Qatar flights, it will be in Bahrain and the UAE in April, 2015. After Qatar flights, it will head to Russia in May. Qatar is an important destination because of the willingness of the ruling family and key stakeholders to diversify the economy and promote innovation and value-added jobs. The Qatar Space City initiative, for example, falls within the scope of our initiative and ambitions for the region, the spokesperson added.

“S3 is looking at developing business relationships in the GCC and finding local investors to set up aerospace-related activities. It may be Qatar or another member of the GCC, we don’t know yet,” he added. 

The flight lasts less than two hours, during which time 15 ‘parabolas,’ each providing 20 to 25 seconds of reduced gravity or weightlessness, are performed.

The aircraft will have different zones and the fare too differs for each. Passengers can book their journey on www. zerog.s-3.ch 

Party Zone, which caters to up to 40 passengers, is available for less than $2,000. 

Premium Zone, the luxurious section, offers more room for each of a maximum of 28 passengers. It cost $5,000 and includes special activities such as playing with liquids and balloons.

VIP Room is the exclusive part of the plane that hosts up to 12 passengers at a minimum cost of $50,000 for the whole zone, with several options that can be discussed to offer a tailor-made experience. 

Passengers must be over eight years old. Passengers between eight years and 14 years 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 other medical conditions listed on the medical history form which must be signed by all passengers. 

Written permission of a doctor is mandatory for passengers with any medical condition indicated on the form. 

The spokesperson for S3 ZeroG said that passengers could get rejected for the journey if they fail to meet the medical requirements. 

THE PENINSULA

 

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