Zero-G visits Rochester with an out of this world experience

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — It is time to blast off and head out of this world, well sort of. The Zero-Gravity, or Zero-G plane, was in Rochester this past Sunday and passengers young and old were excited for their first experience of zero gravity.

However, not all passengers were first-time flyers. For example, we ran into Michael Thomasson who said this is his second run at the experience of zero gravity. He was excited to experience it again, and experience it with his wife and daughter who were both experiencing it for the first time.

“Feeling weightless is like nothing on Earth. It’s great, it’s like being at the top of the arc of a roller coaster, where you get that feeling where you lift from the ground and it just lasts a lot longer," Thomasson said.

That’s exactly what the Zero-G experience is like. The plane goes up to a certain height in the atmosphere and then does a series of parabolic loops which create the zero-gravity experience.

The room where the passengers had their morning breakfast and pre-flight video training was filled with excitement and this was a dream come true, or at least the closest they can get to a dream come true for now.

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to space. That dream can still happen, but for now, this is the closest thing that I can do," said Rob Shuboney.

Thomasson said, “As a kid, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I think a lot of men my age, when they were kids going through the space age and race, probably wanted to be an astronaut."

Passengers came from all over the country, but there was a local tie to this flight as the Director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, Steve Fentress was chosen by the Rochester Museum and Science Center to represent RMSC to learn about zero-g and teach the young and old about future space travel.

“It was a real privilege to be sent on this trip," Fentress said. "So, as soon as we get the videos and the pictures back I will edit it down into a presentation I expect to be doing many times over the next few years for kids and also for adults because we had people of all ages on this flight and all ages can do very well on this."

This was Fentress’s first experience of zero gravity and his excitement was through the roof, like a kid in the candy store.

“It’s so completely different from an everyday experience. I have watched many videos, read many accounts from astronauts, but there is nothing like experiencing it in person…..It was very interesting to feel the moment when gravity is released, it doesn’t feel like I am floating up it feels like the floor is being removed," Fentress said.

Fentress also said he did try the conservation of angular momentum experiment aka the spinning ballerina experiment and his hoping the video captured that to analyze.

Hillary Olson, the President & CEO of RMSC and a bit jealous of Fentress, added now that the connection with DePrez Travel has been made they will do their best to partner with them for future expeditions so be on the look-out for Zero-G to make a return to Rochester.