ANN Shares Some Lunar Gravity Moments With Apollo 11 Astronaut
Just a few days into the inaugural tour of Zero-G Corporation's
Boeing 727 weightless inducing wonderplane, an old friend to
reduced gravity came on board to sample it for himself... yet
Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin joined X Prize Founder Peter
Diamandis (shown below, with Aldrin), ANN's Jim Campbell (who's
having a heckuva time, we hear), and a few dozen other
space-boosters for flights in a modified Amerijet Boeing 727
(under lease to Zero G) on a light from from Burbank, CA. This
assemblage swiftly headed out over the Pacific and twisted the
laws of gravity to suit their lofty purposes with a series of 10
parabolas... and not just once, but twice that day.
"G-Force One" flew two missions, offering a series of Martian
(1/3 G), Lunar (1/6 G) and Zero Gravity excursions that thrilled
both the newbies on board, as well as the experienced spacefarer.
Campbell reports that Aldrin had a ball... "Buzz was very gracious,
posing for pictures, answering questions and speaking
forcefully and positively of the future of private space travel...
but when he got turned loose in reduced, as well as zero gravity,
it was obvious that he felt right at home. More important, he was
having a great time."
Aldrin demonstrated a series of somersaults, rolling maneuvers
and an excellent command of zero gravity maneuvering despite his
admission that this was his first chance to work in reduced gravity
since the return from the moon. "...outside of some turbulence on
airline flights, this is the first time (for reduced gravity) since
Apollo," admitted Aldrin... with a smile.
Aldrin's accomplishments are impressive... and not just for his
flight to moon. The NASA record shows that on November 11, 1966,
Aldrin and command pilot James Lovell were launched into space in
the Gemini 12 spacecraft on a 4-day flight, which brought the
Gemini program to a successful close. Aldrin established a new
record for extravehicular activity (EVA), spending 5-1/2 hours
outside the spacecraft.
He served as lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, July 16-24, 1969,
the first manned lunar landing mission. Aldrin followed Neil
Armstrong onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, completing a
2-hour and 15 minute lunar EVA.
In July of 1971, Aldrin resigned from NASA, having logged 289
hours and 53 minutes in space, of which, 7 hours and 52 minutes
were spent in EVA.
It's been thirty five years since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong
set foot on the moon, on July 20th, 1969; leaving that lonely orb
the next day and rocketing home to a permanent place in the record
books. In the meantime, he's become a passionate spokesman for
space exploration, a successful businessman, an author, and a
particularly persuasive advocate for making the commitments
necessary to make space accessible to more people than
More than just a space spokesman, he's a willing participant in
this pioneering movement. For a few hours on Wednesday, Buzz took
his place among a group of regular folks (all in a little awe of
the man), showed them a few Zero G moves, and participated in the
first major commercial program designed to offer public access to
space-like technology aboard the world'sfirst FAA certified Zero G
airline. Judging by the many smiles among those on board, it would
seem that Aldrin's arguments to allow private access to space are
getting wide support from some of America's first private Zero-G