WASHINGTON — Space tourists came closer to aone-stop shop as Space Adventures announced today its Jan. 1 purchase of ZeroGravity Corp., or Zero-G, which provides paying passengers brief periods ofweightlessness aboard a modified Boeing 727 aircraft known as G-Force One.
Theacquisition cements Space Adventures'control of Zero-G, in which it had been a substantial investor "for years,"according to Eric Anderson, president and chief executive officer of SpaceAdventures. Anderson's Vienna, Va.-based firm arranges trips aboard RussianSoyuz vehicles to the international space station.
SpaceAdventures spokeswoman Stacey Tearne declined to discuss the price paid forZero-G.
"Bringingthe companies together allows us to provide a range of exclusive commercialspaceflight services from parabolic flights to orbital missions," said PeterDiamandis, Zero-G's chief executive officer. Diamandis, who also co-foundedSpace Adventures, will remain as Zero G's chief executive and becomes amanaging director of Space Adventures. Byron Lichtenberg, former NASAastronaut, continues as Zero-G's chief technology officer.
Zero-Gprovides passengers with abrief training session followed by a 90-minute flight during which G-Force Oneperforms a series of parabolas that enable passengers to experience Martiangravity, lunar gravity and zero gravity. Zero-G has carried more than 5,000customers on more than 175 flights since 2004. The company won a research andtraining contract from NASA in January worth as much as $25 million.
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