Swiss Space Systems has announced plans to offer microgravity aircraft flights in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Japan, Ecuador, North Africa, and the Middle East, beginning in 2015.

Flights will make use of a modified Airbus aircraft. Customers will experience 15 parabolas, each providing between 20 and 25 seconds of weightlessness, during a 90-minute flight. Prices start at 2000 Euros (currently about $2800), with higher-price packages that include extras like a custom Breitling wristwatch.

The announced 2015 flight dates for North America are: Sept. 5-6 (Canada), Sept. 12-13 (Canada), Sept. 19-20, 2015 (Colorado), Sept. 26-27 (California), Oct. 3-4 (California), Oct. 10-26 (Florida), and Nov. 7-29 (Puerto Rico). Dates for other locations are available on the S3 ZeroG website.

Florida flights will operate from the former Space Shuttle runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Swiss Space Systems has formed a new US subsidiary, S3 USA Operations (Florida) Inc. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Space Florida and leased offices at Space Florida’s Space Life Sciences Laboratory. S3 will also evaluate the Shuttle Landing Facility as a possible site for satellite launches beginning in 2018, using the proposed SOAR spaceplane.

Robert Feierbach, head of S3 USA, said, “S3 [will] offer research institutes and universities, partners or clients the possibility to conduct extremely precise and demanding missions in various microgravity environments. We will also let the public live this one-of-a-kind experience through our online ticketing system for our flight campaigns around the world.”

In the near term, S3 will compete directly with Zero G Corporation, which currently offers microgravity aircraft flights from Kennedy Space Center, Houston, Las Vegas, and other locations in the US. Zero G Corporation has a published fare of $4950 plus tax, although research flights are higher. Zero G corporation uses a Boeing 727 aircraft.

Written by Astro1 on March 16th, 2014 , Swiss Space Systems

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