Training to become an astronaut requires an applicant to endure physically demanding and stressful tests -various machines and simulators measure each trainee's response to the rigors of space travel. Today, an entirely unrelated industry uses many of these simulators and other devices only for entertainment, like special aircrafts.
A reduced-gravity aircraft is a type of fixed-wing aircraft that provides brief near-weightless (because only negligible gravitational forces are present) environments for training astronauts, conducting research and making gravity-free movie shots.
Zero GravityCorporation became the first company in the United States to offer zero-g flights to the general public, using Boeing 727 jets. Each flight consists of around 15 parabolas, including simulations of the gravity levels of the Moon and Mars, as well as complete weightlessness. This profile allows ZERO-G's clients to enjoy weightlessness with minimal motion discomfort. The cost is approximately $5,450 (€5,180).
How things work:
The zero-gravity of space is simulated by flying a series of parabolic flight maneuvers that counter the forces of gravity and allow the astronauts and cosmonauts to learn how to accomplish tasks with no gravity. Think of an airplane, flying up and over a hill. At the top of the hill, just as the plane starts its flight path back toward earth, gravity seems to disappear and everything inside the plane starts to float.
The aircraft must climb at a steep angle (about 45 degrees), level off, and then dive, creating a path called a parabolic arc (also called a Keplerian Trajectory or free-fall path). In a true parabolic arc, the only accelerative force is gravity pulling in a vertical direction-horizontal velocity remains constant. Because of air resistance, objects in Earth's atmosphere only travel in arcs that approximate a true parabola.
Ready to takeoff!!!!