Oh Gee: Weightless Flight with James Cameron Goes Up for Bid

The NSS Attends the Hollywood Premier of 'Aliens of the Deep'
Explorer, director, and writer James Cameron arrives at the premiere of "Aliens of the Deep" held at the Universal CityWalk IMAX theater with his wife, Suzy Amis. Image (Image credit: Larry Evans, NSS)

EDITOR'S NOTE: SPACE.com has learned that the auction hasbeen extended until Sept. 10 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Three bidders will have the chance to join filmmaker JamesCameron in a state of weightlessness aboard an upcoming plane flight, in anauction to fund high-tech competitions offered by the X Prize Foundation.

Cameron, famed director of "Avatar" and"Titanic," and his wife will be among the guests on an Oct. 9 flightfrom Los Angeles aboard G-ForceOne, a modified Boeing 727-200 jet flown in parabolic arcs across the skyto induce a few moments of zero gravity.

The plane's owner, ZeroGravity Corp. of Vienna, Va., will auction off three passenger spots oneBay beginning Tuesday, Aug. 31. The auction ends Sept. 10 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

"All proceeds from this eBay auction will go the XPrize Foundation to help design future prizes intended to drive radicalbreakthroughs for the benefit of humanity," said X Prize Foundation chiefexecutive and chairman Peter Diamandis in a statement.

The X PrizeFoundation is a nonprofit group based in California that offers prize moneyto stimulate technological breakthroughs.

In 2004 the foundation bestowed $10 million on the ScaledComposites company for building the first privately funded reusable mannedspacecraft. Since then, the foundation has developed new contests withmultimillion-dollar prizes for achievements in moon exploration, automotivefuel economy and genetics research, among others.

Cameron serves on the foundation's Exploration AdvisoryCommittee.

"My wife Suzy and I are really excited about flying inthe 727 for the Zero-G experience," Cameron said in a video about theupcoming flight. "I've done it before and it's really an amazingexperience. So come along with us and we'll go get weightless! Bid high on thisone because it's a great way to support our (the X Prize Foundation's) effortsin space."

The flight will take off from Van Nuys Airport in LosAngeles. Also on board will be FOC Films chief executive Jim Gianopulosand author Tim Ferriss ("The 4-Hour Workweek"),  X Prizeofficials said.

NASA uses planes similar to G-Force One to train itsastronauts. Parts of the movie "Apollo 13" were shot aboard such aplane, and a number of noted personalities, including Stephen Hawking, MarthaStewart and Ozzy Osbourne, have flown aboard Zero Gravity flights. One couplehad a weightlesswedding aboard the plane.

To bid on seats for the upcoming flight, visit http://eBay.com/cameron.

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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the Space.com team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.