Feelin’ free

Congratulations to Professor Hawking for riding the “vomit comet” and living to tell the tale. I know it had to be exciting for him, but I have no doubt there was some fear laced in there as well. However, some news reports noted he didn’t need an air sick bag. We salute you, sir!

One of the world’s foremost scientists slipped free from his wheelchair Thursday to float in zero gravity in the skies above the Atlantic Ocean.

Stephen Hawking, a renowned British astrophysicist who is stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease, experienced about four minutes of simulated weightlessness aboard a modified Boeing 727 jet operated by the Zero Gravity Corp.

Hawking was laid on his back on the floor of the aircraft’s forward section. Then, when the dives began, two people — Zero Gravity Corp. co-founders Peter Diamandis and Byron Lichtenberg — helped lift Hawking and hold him in position. During a couple of dives, Hawking asked the two men to flip him around.

“He was doing gold-medalist gymnastics in zero G[ravity],” Diamandis said.

This flight is apparently meant as a step toward actual space flight in a couple of years about Virgin Galactic. It looks like he’s ready for launch now.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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