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All aboard the vomit comet!

Swiss company to launch ‘ZeroG experience’ in 2015 to rival Virgin Galactic. Prices start at £ 1,600 (Rs 15.7 K), and the first flight will take off from Japan. Each aircraft will perform 15 manoeuvres in the 90-minute flight

London: Richard Branson may have plans to launch the first privately manned space flight this year, but at £ 1,48,400 (Rs 1.46 cr) a ticket, Virgin space travel won’t come cheap. For those desperate to get a taste of the experience, Swiss Space Systems (S3) has just launched what it claims will be the world's cheapest ZeroG flights.

astronauts
The test: Nasa put its astronauts through much tougher versions of the same flights as part of their training, pushing trainees to the brink of nausea. Representation Pic/Thinkstock

With prices starting at £ 1,600 (Rs 15.7 K), the flight will see passengers experience 20 to 25 seconds of weightlessness each time the plane transitions from climbing to descending. S3’s flights, like existing ZeroG services, will involve putting passengers on board of a modified aircraft that performs a series of mid-air parabolas — or U-shaped manoeuvres.

This will give passengers a feeling of weightlessness for just over six minutes in total, allowing them to feel similar sensations to that of an astronaut floating on the International Space Station.

NASA puts its astronauts through a much tougher version of the same flights as part of their training, pushing trainees to the brink of sickness in what is described as the ‘vomit comet’.

Each aircraft will perform 15 parabolas per 90-minute. Passengers will be put into something known as the ‘Party Room’ with 39 other people.

For those willing to pay £4,050 (Rs 3.99 L), passengers join 27 others in the ‘Premium Zone’ that includes items to play with like balloons and liquid. While a dozen passengers can have a ‘tailor-made experience’ in the VIP Room that costs £ 40,500 (Rs 39.9 L) and comes with a watch and a flight suit.

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