- Prices start at €2,000 (£1,600/ $2,700) and first flight will take off from Japan
- In comparison, a ticket for Virgin's SpaceShipTwo costs $250,000 (£148,400)
- Each aircraft will perform 15 manoeuvres throughout the 90-minute flight
- During manoeuvres, passengers experience 25 seconds of weightlessness
Richard Branson may have plans to launch the first privately manned space flight this year, but at $250,000 (£148,400) 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.
With prices starting at €2,000 (£1,600; $2,700), 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 aboard a modified aircraft that performs a series of mid-air parabolas – or u-shaped manoeuvres.
This gives 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. For a price of under €2,000 (£1,600 or $2,700), passengers will get put into something known as the ‘Party Room’ with 39 other people.
For those willing to pay €5,000 (£4,050 or $6,800), passengers join 27 other people in the ‘Premium Zone’ which includes items to play with like balloons and liquid.
A dozen passengers can have a ‘tailor-made experience’ in the VIP Room, which will cost an €50,000 (£40,500 or $68,000) and comes with a watch and a flight suit.
S3 plans on starting the flights in Japan next January for anyone above the age of eight, with 14 other locations opening throughout the year.
Earlier this year, the Swiss group unveiled radical plans to launch a space shuttle from the top of an Airbus passenger jet as part of a separate project.
Swiss Space Systems said the system will be a far cheaper way to launch satellites - and claims it can sell launches for £7 million ($12 million) or around a quarter of the price currently charged.
The firm claims its system, which could launch satellites weighing up to 550lbs (250kg), could take to the air in 2017.
The Swiss Space Systems launch model uses an Airbus A300, an aircraft already certified for zero gravity flights, to take the shuttle up to 10,000m on its back.
Once it reaches this height, the shuttle will be launched to take it to an altitude of 49.7 miles (80km), when the spaceplane doors open and put the satellites into orbit.
When this operation has been completed, the shuttle will return to earth by gliding towards its launch airport - and can be reused.
By Ellie Zolfagharifard
To see the full article CLICK HERE.