Press Release

Yuri’s Night Raffle Winner Gets Weightless

By SpaceRef Editor
July 19, 2005
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Yuri’s Night Raffle Winner Gets Weightless

Ft.Lauderdale, FL, July 16th, 2005-  After 20 years of waiting David Buck finally got his wish- to escape the surly bonds of Earth (or at least it’s gravitational pull).  The Tampa Bay space cowboy and recent International Space University Alum was the lucky winner of this years Yuri’s Night Zero-G raffle, hosted by the MIT SEDS chapter in Boston and open to Yuri’s Night participants all across the country. 

The ride is an all day experience that starts with training in the morning and culminates in a 2 hour flight (of fancy?) in a modified 727 that flies up very steeply and then pushes over and dives down giving people inside the cabin the experience of being very heavy and then getting light- so light in fact that for 30 second at a time they and everything else in the cabin that isn’t bolted down- floats.

The raffle was the brain child of Steven Steiner, a grad student and aerogel expert at MIT, who also is an FAA-certified Flight Attendant for Zero-G Corp. He wanted to give this years celebration of the first human to go into outer space in 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a little kick.  “We wanted to make a statement that space is no longer just in the future.  As of last fall you can buy FAA certified weightless flights and get your own taste of free floating right now.” 

Steiner hopes to make the raffle an annual staple of the World Wide Space Party that takes place every April 12th, also the day that the US Space Shuttle Columbia took its maiden voyage in 1981.  “That way students and young professionals will always know that they have a chance to win this coveted out of this world experience without having to pay the $3750 sticker price.”

But for David, winning the first raffle suits him just fine,  “I didn’t want to come home. It just felt so incredible being up there floating, standing on the ceiling, doing somersaults in the air- and just the first step in a long series of space adventures to come.”

Who knows maybe the Yuri’s Night 2010 raffle winner could enjoy a trip up and out of the stratosphere.

 About Yuri’s Night

Yuri’s Night is an annual celebration of space exploration celebrated in over 30 countries.  It honors the 1st human to go into space Yuri Gagarin and the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle every April 12th.  It was started by students in 2001 with the aim of creating a holiday that will be celebrated 10,000 years in the future.  For more information about Yuri’s Night please visit

  About Zero Gravity Corporation

Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G®, 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 the first and only FAA-approved provide of Weightless Flight.  The ZERO-G experience is conducted aboard G-FORCE ONE – a specially modified 727.  Zero Gravity’s flight operations are conducted out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Visit or call (888) NO-GRAVITY (664-7284) for more information.

SpaceRef staff editor.