Zero Gravity Corporation and NASTAR Center Sign Teaming Agreement for Space Training
Southampton, PA, USA. February 4, 2013 – The NASTAR® Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center, announced today it signed a teaming agreement with Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) to provide space training programs and opportunities to pilots as well as crew, participants and general public audiences.
The goals of the collaboration are to advance the awareness, education and preparation of upcoming commercial space travelers, as well as provide exciting space experiences for general audiences everywhere.
Space training has been a standard part of professional astronaut training since the earliest days of space exploration. Space training can encompass many elements, but at its core it ensures space flight participants can survive and enjoy the journey to and from space; particularly, the launch, the weightlessness and the reentry phases of flight. Training to operate under the high G’s of rocket launch and reentry is the specialty of NASTAR Center, while ZERO-G provides microgravity training so participants learn to function effectively in space environments.
The NASTAR Center is the world’s leading provider of training services for commercial suborbital space flights and is able to support a variety of nominal and off-nominal scenarios and task objectives for suborbital and orbital spaceflight missions It is the first facility to receive safety approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct suborbital space training and now holds two of the four total safety approvals issued by the FAA (altitude training and launch/reentry high-G training). To date, more than 250 future space travelers have prepared for space at the NASTAR Center in Southampton, Pa.
Of the partnership, ZERO-G co-founder and former Space Shuttle Astronaut Byron Lichtenberg remarked, “space travel requires humans to quickly adapt to rapidly changing and completely new environments. Training in the most realistic analogs possible has been, and will continue to be, fundamental to passenger and crew effectiveness and safety. ZERO-G is in a unique position to provide that training and NASTAR will be a strong partner.”
ZERO-G uses a specially modified Boeing 727, G-FORCE ONE(TM), to perform aerobatic maneuvers known as parabolas to create the reduced environments encountered during suborbital and orbital flights. Training participants also experience Martian and Lunar gravity conditions as well as up to 1.8 G’s of hyper gravity. Issued a safety approval in 2011 by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation for crew qualification and flight training, ZERO-G has flown 320 commercial parabolic missions for more than 9,000 people worldwide and holds the contract to conduct NASA’s microgravity research and education programs.
“We are interested in forming partnerships that add value for our clients,” states Brienna Henwood, director of space training and research at NASTAR Center. “Zero G is a great complement to our capability-we can put the G’s on, and they take them off. It’s a great match.”
Together, the companies aim to provide a comprehensive training solution for interested audiences and spaceflight clients. Look for opportunities and announcements from both companies in the year to follow.
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