UAE: Residents will soon be able to experience zero gravity without going to space

File photo
File photo

Dubai - US company to demonstrate concept during International Astronautical Congress in Dubai.


Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 25 Oct 2021, 5:42 PM

You could soon be able to experience weightlessness just like astronauts - without going to space.

A US exhibitor at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) said they will be offering parabolic flights in the near future, to experience total weightlessness…floating, flipping and soaring like an astronaut.

Noelle Pearson, director of sales, Zero G, said: “I am representing Zero Gravity Corporation at IAC. We are here to show that you can take your experiments into microgravity and test them before they go suborbital, at a much lower cost than you would normally do for a suborbital flight. Zero gravity is the first step to space tourism.

“Although we are not suborbital, we do fly commercial altitudes. Richard Branson has been onboard with us on Zero G; Elon Musk as well. We did have two other people who went up on Unity 22, and we’ve had Axiom Space as well. We are the first step to space tourism, and also train astronauts and work with Nasa.”

The mega event which has taken place in several cities annually since 1950 is being held for the first time in the Middle East.

“Making connections here is one of the most exciting things. We are well known in the US and North America; people in the scientific industry are aware of us, but overseas not as much. We are hoping to come overseas and do a tour, even in Dubai. So we could bring a plane here and have people fly with us. We are looking forward to collaborations with the UAE, Russia, European Space Agency (ESA) – introducing flights not only for research, but also for consumers as the space tourism industry is booming,” Pearson adds.

Participants at the event are not just showcasing futuristic capabilities, but also engaging collaboratively with players from different countries in the space sector.

Carlos Fernandez de la Pena, vice president of Satellite Data and Services of Open Cosmos (offices in Spain and the UK), says: “This is the most important space event of the year if you want to connect with other space agencies. We manufacture small satellites and we use satellite data to provide services to final users. So we are showcasing our products and looking for space agencies who want to join our vision. As members we can share capacity and resources in order to step up in the space capabilities. We are planning to meet with members of the MBRSC during this event.

Recently, at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week, the UAE and Israel space agencies signed a deal to enhance cooperation in scientific research, space exploration and knowledge transfer.

As per the understanding the UAE will exchange research and develop scientific instruments for the Israeli rocket ship ‘Beresheet-2’ space project that is bound for the Moon by 2024.

Estie Rosen, head of media relations, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and one of the IAC exhibitors, says: “We are the center of all space activities in Israel. We develop observation satellites. We have end-to-end capabilities in space… launch, development, ground segment, operating them in space. We have over 40 years of experience in space. Our offerings additionally include Mini Communications Satellite (MCS), which have sophisticated technology but are in an affordable budget and virtual ground station among others. We are looking at this territory as a hub for all the activities in the region. Both the UAE and Israel are the technology hubs of the region. Therefore, we are looking at long-term collaborations.”

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