Updated: Feb 8
Have you ever wondered what zero-gravity would feel like? Well, buckle up or — better said — loosen up, ‘cause you’re about to find out. But before we twist and twirl, let’s revisit the basics.
To understand what is zero-gravity, you must know a thing or two about gravity. And, after you do, you’ll probably wonder how it’s possible to experience zero-gravity without leaving Earth’s atmosphere. Great question, our friend. Let’s find out the answers.
What’s zero gravity?
Zero-gravity simply refers to the apparent absence of gravity. But how can gravity simply...vanish? The truth is that it doesn’t; it just gets weaker.
Remember what we’ve learned about gravity: it’s the glue that keeps everything together here on Earth and even in space.
Gravity keeps us grounded and makes our daily lives possible. However, the force of gravity can also vary. For example, the closer to Earth you are, the stronger it is.
But what happens if you get away from Earth and travel to space?
Well, if you’ve ever seen footage with astronauts in space, you know what happens. Gravity becomes weaker and weaker, leading to zero-gravity, or a feeling of weightlessness. That’s because gravity and mass are closely connected.
For example, thanks to zero-gravity, astronauts on the International Space Station can float. Plus, they can lift hefty objects as if they were feathers. Yes, astronauts are the real superheroes. And they can even play football, just watch the video below:
However, the lack of gravity is not all fun and games. And astronauts need to train hard right here, on Earth, to be able to handle zero-gravity. But how?
How do astronauts train for zero-gravity conditions?
To get ready for zero-gravity conditions, astronauts train in two ways:
1. In a modified aircraft referred to — very suggestively — as vomit comet or Weightless Wonder.
These types of planes have flight routes that take passengers up and down, very fast. Each time the plane goes down, the future astronauts experience weightlessness for 25-30 seconds.
Needless to say, one of the biggest struggles is not getting nauseated.
2. In a big water tank called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.
In this type of training, astronauts dress in space suits and handle real-size tools for countless hours at a time. This way, they prepare for working in weightlessness conditions.
What are some of the effects of zero-gravity?
Unsurprisingly, zero-gravity has a big impact on the human body.
Just think about how our body works here on Earth. For example, gravity keeps our blood flow in a down-stream.
However, there’s almost no gravity in space, so blood begins to travel to our head, causing stuffiness or headaches. Not pleasant, but a small price to pay if you want to become an astronaut.
Another aspect to consider is that astronauts who spend several weeks or months need to train more than they would here on Earth. Why? Because weightlessness affects their muscles. To keep their bones and muscles healthy, astronauts have to prepare several hours a day.
How to experience weightlessness yourself?
While zero-gravity can feel funky at first, it’s truly a fantastic experience! Especially since it can get you one step closer to becoming an astronaut.
But how can you experience weightlessness yourself, if you’re not an astronaut in training?
Well, junior astronaut, we’re here to help! We’ve prepared a Go Zero-G programme that will help you experience zero-gravity.
So suit up, and board GoZeroG’s specially-adapted airliner for twists and turns out of this world!
Learn how to join here.