The New Space Race: While You Wait

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Zero Gravity
Trainee astronauts become acquainted with weightlessness during parabolic flights, in which a jet with a padded interior flies a series of parabolas, or arcs, that allow as much as 30 seconds of free floating at the peak of each. The experience is similar to riding a roller coaster and can include the unpleasant effects; the Boeing 707 that NASA employed from 1973 to 1995 was nicknamed the Vomit Comet. For $3,750 per person, Zero Gravity Corp. of Dania Beach, Fla., abets breakers of the law of gravity aboard G-Force One, its Boeing 727. In June, it offered a flight that departed from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on the same runway used by the space shuttle.
 
Zero Gravity Corp.
800.937.6480
nogravity.com

Space Camp
Although it normally caters to children, Space Camp admits adults to its program in Huntsville, Ala., in the late summer and fall. The three-day basic program ($400 per person) includes a session in the 1/6th Gravity Trainer, which approximates the sensation of walking on the moon. Campers also have the chance to play the roles of astronauts and mission control personnel during a mock space shuttle mission. The Advanced Space Academy program ($900 to $1,300), which lasts from six to eight days, includes a ride in a 3g centrifuge and lengthier mission simulations.

Space Camp
800.637.7223, 256.721.7150
spacecamp.com

Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Named for science fiction writer Jules Verne, Jules’ Undersea Lodge, located 21 feet below the surface in Key Largo, Fla., is a former underwater research laboratory retrofitted with a TV, stereo, and microwave. Guests can even call for pizza, which is delivered in a waterproof sling. A stay at the hotel (starting at about $300 per person per night) resembles living in space because the quarters are pressurized, and survival gear is required to venture outside, where guests will experience weightlessness. Those who lack scuba certification must complete a short course on the mainland before proceeding to their rooms.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge
305.451.2353
jul.com

Photo by Darin Schnabel⁄RM Auctions
One of the finest car collections in the country is paring down...
There may be no car collectors more fanatical than Porsche collectors...
A stretched version of Maserati’s flagship Quattroporte sedan, the Octoporte is packed with...
Photo by Piccinini Roberto
The already impressive Huracán has been given an array of race-friendly upgrades…
The new GTS, unveiled 50 years after the original Targa debuted, will hit U.S. dealerships in April…
Photo by Jim Fets
The successful trip puts Audi on track to release its first autonomous car in 2017…
Jaguar’s design director discloses that the F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept…
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers…
The racecar set off a Ford winning streak at Le Mans that lasted four years…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
Armored versions of the limousine-like vehicle will also be available…