Where Can I Experience Zero Gravity?
Many people when they were kids had the dream of becoming an astronaut, and often this was for the thrill of experiencing zero gravity. The feeling of weightlessness and freedom that comes with zero gravity is totally unique, so it’s not surprising that it’s an experience that sits on lots of people’s bucket lists! However, aside from going into space, where can you experience this magical feeling? Read on to find out…
Where Can I Experience Zero Gravity?
While you can’t technically experience the exact state of zero gravity here on Earth, scientists have worked hard to develop spaces that allow us to escape the Earth’s pull and let us feel as though we are defying physics, even if just for a short time!
This is an experience that kids, thrill-seekers and bucket list junkies alike would love to enjoy and thankfully there are a number of locations across the United States and the rest of the world where this can be done.
Choosing a modified plane experience is probably the closest thing you can get to experience zero gravity in a commercial way. The teams here have created amazing microgravity spaces so you can live out your astronaut dreams! Beware though, they are called ‘vomit comets’ for a reason so be careful when you step back on land as you may feel a little queasy!
The modified Boeing 727s at Zero Gravity Corporation allows you and a group of other guests to truly experience what it would feel like on a mission to the moon. Step inside the cabin and be photographed by a professional photographer during this once-in-a-lifetime experience! At $5,400.00 USD a pop it’s not exactly cheap, but it is thrilling and memorable – exactly what you need for your bucket list. You can even book a private experience for $165,000 if you really want to push the boat out!
Zero Gravity U.S.A at The Aurora Aerospace Flight Center
Another microgravity plane experience is offered at The Aurora Aerospace Flight Center in St. Petersburg. While this experience gives you less room to play around, it is a totally personalised adventure so you can learn at your own pace and do whatever you want without having to share the space. Guests are given around 10 parabolas of 10 seconds each to float and flip around and are even shown what the difference would be between Moon and Mars gravity levels.
The following activities allow you to use a mixture of science and equipment to your advantage to let your body step into a place where it feels outside of the boundaries of gravity. Many of these activities can be done worldwide so you’ll just need to find a centre near you!
Even while swimming we can notice the weightlessness that takes hold of our body, but scuba diving takes this to a whole new level. Divers are able to take the heavy breathing equipment and turn this into a weightless outfit once they are fully submerged in water. Be in total control of your body as you hover, flip and float around in the water while interacting with exotic marine life at the same time!
With a combination of free-fall and floating, skydiving is one of the most thrilling experiences in the world. Jumping out of a plane strapped to a stranger at 15,000ft might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but if you want to drop, flip and roll as you would in a zero-gravity chamber here is your chance! You can also experience skydiving without the height in an indoor skydiving experience tunnel.
All different types of yoga have become more and more popular in recent years, but only aerial yoga allows you to feel free and weightless while practicing poses and stretches. Aerial silks and swings enable you to be suspended in mid-air throughout the session making some positions that might be impossible on the mat totally achievable!
The Mugar Omni Theater at Boston’s Museum of Science is a wrap-around theatre experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the showing. Like similar IMAX and 3D/4D viewings, the Mugar Omni Theater allows you to really get into the moment and almost forget where you are! The screens are five stories high, and as characters float through space, you’ll feel as though you’re right there with them.
In a similar vein, modern virtual reality headsets allow you to feel as though you’re experiencing zero gravity, especially if this is paired with a simulator or moving ride. DisneyQuest was one of the first to utilise these technologies with rides like Aladdin’s Magic Carpet and today you can enjoy virtual reality experiences all over the world.
While we’re not quite at the level of offering zero or microgravity theme park rides just yet, Six Flags are definitely moving in the right direction. The tall, high-speed rides offered at Six Flags Great Adventure are some of the best in the world at allowing you to lose the weight of your body while you ride.
Kingda Ka at Six Flags in New Jersey is the tallest rollercoaster in the world and will have your heart in your mouth as you shoot up and over the ride’s highest point and down the 127m drop on the other side. Despite passengers travelling at a speed of 128mph to get to the top, riders get to enjoy a full eight seconds of weightlessness as they travel over and down the rest of the track!
Nitro is another ride that will have your tummy doing flips as it sends you on a journey of death-defying drops one after another! If you weren’t well strapped in, your body would fly out of your seat as the sheer speed leaves you weightless!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride at Disney is a simple drop ride that gives you the sensation of your body moving at a different speed to that around you. While you are strapped in, it’s likely that you’ll still rise out of your seat and your tummy will definitely feel as though it’s flying up into your throat. There are plenty of drop rides like this around the world such as the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, AtmosFear, Giant Drop and Falcon’s Fury.
Zero Gravity By Illusion:
Sometimes our minds can create the illusion of experiencing zero gravity just by looking at our surroundings from a different angle or using mirrors and shapes to confuse our brains! Here are some fun ways to see the world in a new way with things moving in a way we’ve never seen before.
Spook Hill has become a strange centre of seemingly experiencing zero gravity despite not being a research centre, rollercoaster or out-of-this-world activity. Instead, Spook Hill in Lake Wales uses the lay of the land to trick your eyes and mind into thinking things are rolling uphill! Watching a car roll towards you in neutral while the road looks like it slopes upwards is truly mind-bending. While Spook Hill won’t allow you to do backflips in the air, it will still be something to show at parties and tell your friends!
The Museum of Illusions in Zagreb, Croatia offers tons of mind-boggling experiences like the Anti-gravity Room which makes you doubt yourself as to whether you are standing still and straight on or a tilted surface. This room uses a variety of mirrors and interiors to create the illusion and is a fun way to confuse your mind into thinking you’re experiencing zero gravity!
The have now expanded world wide including NYC
Finally, the piece de resistance...
For those who are really serious about experiencing zero gravity, The Zero Gravity Research Facility in Cleveland, Ohio is the holy grail. This zero gravity Mecca was designed by NASA and is perhaps the ultimate weightlessness experience! The vacuum chamber has been used for prominent scientific research for decades before important space missions. While it’s not available to any Tom, Dick, and Harry if you are on the road to becoming an astronaut this centre may just be on the cards!
Have a look at our huge list of other bucket list experiences!
Zero gravity questions you may ask
Can children experience zero gravity?
Each ‘zero gravity’ experience will have their own restrictions, but as there are so many different activities out there, there are definitely ways that children can experience the thrill of microgravity! The Zero-G experiences by Zero Gravity Corporation allow children as young as 8 years old, while theme park rides will depend on children’s height rather than age.
Will I have motion sickness while enjoying a 'zero gravity' experience?
It is impossible to say whether everyone will or won’t experience some form of motion sickness during zero gravity rides or sessions, but it is worth keeping in mind that the creators of all these experiences want you to have the most enjoyable time possible.
They have tried to make motion experiences that will reduce any possible discomfort, but only you can know your body and your reaction to travel and motion movements. or those who are really serious about experiencing zero gravity, The Zero Gravity Research Facility in Cleveland, Ohio is the holy grail. This zero gravity Mecca was designed by NASA and is perhaps the ultimate weightlessness experience! The vacuum chamber has been used for prominent scientific research for decades before important space missions.
While it’s not available to any Tom, Dick, and Harry if you are on the road to becoming an astronaut this centre may just be on the cards!
Why can't you ever experience full zero gravity?
It is impossible to feel complete zero gravity while still on Earth due to the fact that the gravitational force of our planet is always in play. However, when gravity is the only force acting on your body, you can experience the feeling of weightlessness. This happens in moments such as free fall in the atmosphere. The upward thrust force of buoyancy also allows you to feel weightlessness but this time as an opposing force to gravity.
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