Press Release

On 50th Anniversary of Space Age, Students From 9 Countries Will Fly Weightless on Zero G Flight

By SpaceRef Editor
September 25, 2007
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On 50th Anniversary of Space Age, Students From 9 Countries Will Fly Weightless on Zero G Flight


World Space Week Youth Inspiration Program Joins Students from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Thailand, China, Norway and United States to Symbolically Launch Humankind’s Next 50 Years in Space

LAS VEGAS – September 26, 2007 – On October 6, nine exceptional students from around the world will commemorate the 50th anniversary of space age and experience weightlessness for the first time on a zero-gravity flight from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. This flight will serve to inspire students worldwide to excel in education, demonstrate international cooperation and visibly launch humankind’s next 50 years in space. The flight is part of the global celebration of United Nations-declared World Space Week, October 4-10.

“For this Youth Inspiration Program, we selected nine students who are role models for the students of the world,” said World Space Week Association President Dennis Stone. The students selected, all age 15-18, are Mohamed Selais of Bahrain, Rafiqul, Islam of Bangladesh, Adeolu Akano of Nigeria, Yuranis Castro of Colombia, Veronika Simova of Czech Republic, Sunaree Naeramit of Thailand, Li Mutian of China, Kristian Rasmussen of Norway and Devin Green of the United States. Sponsors include, United Launch Alliance, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Batelco, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and National Space Research and Development Agency of Nigeria.

“On this significant milestone for space age, we are proud to send these outstanding students on this one-of-a-kind experience,” Stone continued. “World Space Week demonstrates to young people everywhere that they can achieve their dreams by excelling in education. World Space Week demonstrates to everyone that the exploration and uses of space brings our whole world closer together.”

The United Nations has declared October 4-10 annually as World Space Week. The Space Age began on October 4, 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1. The world’s first international space treat took effect October 10, 1967. World Space Week is celebrated with a myriad of public and student events in some 50 nations.

“World Space Week 2007 will be the largest public space celebration in history,” Stone said. “We encourage the public to attend events in their area and we encourage teachers to use space in their classrooms that week.” The global calendar of events is available at

The flight will be operated by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G(R)), the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights. The experience it offers is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true “weightlessness” without going to space. The flight will include approximately 15 parabolas ranging from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6 G) and Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness and deliver twice the amount of weightless time achieved in a typical sub-orbital flight into space. This unforgettable weightless voyage with ZERO-G will give students the chance to fly like Superman, flip like an Olympic gymnast and enjoy 10-times more hang-time than the world’s best basketball player. They will have the chance to see water hover before their eyes, or release a handful of M&M’s and chase them down like a game of human PacMan.

“To partner with the World Space Week Association for the Youth Inspiration Program to enable these students to experience weightlessness for the first time is an incredible milestone in my efforts to bring the fun and excitement of space and weightlessness to the world,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Co-Founder of ZERO-G. ” I believe that by engaging students across the globe and illustrating that our wildest dreams can become reality, we will help to inspire tomorrow’s explorers.”

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, an avid sponsor of the Youth Inspiration Program, experienced zero-gravity flights himself during the filming of Apollo-13. Reflecting on the Youth Inspiration Program as an avenue to inspire students to focus on their education, Hanks described the initiative as “a brilliant idea, truly brilliant.”

About World Space Week Association

Founded in 1981, World Space Week Association ( is a non-profit organization that supports the United Nations in the global coordination of World Space Week, the largest public space event on Earth, celebrated in some 50 nations each October 4-10. For a calendar of planned events around the world, see

About ZERO-G

Zero Gravity Corporation ( is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of space accessible to the public. ZERO-G is based in Las Vegas and Florida and is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flight to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government.

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Las Vegas, ZERO-G is led by a world-class team of veteran astronauts and experienced business leaders. The company was co-founded by X PRIZE Chairman and space visionary, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis; and veteran astronaut, Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg. The duo spent more than a decade working to bring the marvel of weightless flight to the public. Since launching the ZERO-G Experience to the general public in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 100 weightless flights and flown over 3,000 passengers, including celebrities and media personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers, and individuals age 12 to 93. The ZERO-G Experience (TM), which includes training led by a professional astronaut, a flight of 15 parabolas, flight suit, complimentary merchandise, awards, a post-event party, photos, and a DVD of the flight, is offered at a price of $3,500 per seat. For the current flight schedule, more information or to book a seat, visit, or call 1-800-937-6480.

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For More Information:

Natalie Mounier, Kirvin Doak Communications
702-737-3100; [email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.