By Scott Fitzgerald

Gravity. It’s always here. Earth gravity. Ever wondered what gravity on the moon is like? How about Martian gravity? And how about the king of the gravity family, zero gravity?

One lucky GadgetGuy reader is going to find out, in February 2009. GadgetGuy, in association with Symantec, is giving one extremely lucky person the following prize:

  • 1 x Business Class return fare on Qantas
  • 1 x accommodation and meals package (3 nights only)
  • 1 x travel insurance
  • 1 x transfers to/from hotel (taxi)
  • 1 x Zero Gravity flight

That’s a prize value of $22,636, and an experience that very few people have.

The Zero G flight

Now, what exactly is a Zero Gravity flight? The actual duration of the flight is around about 90 minutes, in a specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft. The aircraft performs 15 parabolic arcs, at altitudes of between 24,000 and 32,000, which as the Zero G Corporation websites describes, are “… a controlled ascent and descent that creates temporary weightlessness or reduced gravity”. Each of the arcs provides 30 seconds of reduced gravity and weightlessness.

On board the plane there can be up to 35 other ‘gravinauts’ – for each passenger there is one coach on-board. As the gravity levels change, over the intercom you’ll hear the Flight Director announce the levels of gravity – moving from Earth, to Martian, to Lunar, to Zero. In addition to performing floatation and acrobatic tricks, other Zero G tricks include the release of M&Ms and bubbles of water.

Along with the spells of the reduction or loss of gravity there are also periods of higher gravity – that’s right, you’ll pull about 1.8 times your normal body weight. In these periods you will be resting on your back on the padded floor of the plane.

On board digital still cameras and high definition videocameras will capture the experience for you, plus you are also able to take your own camera or videocamera on-board.

All up it is a 3 to 4 hour experience. Before the flight is an orientation meeting, where the staff will take you through the experience, and suggest a few tricks you can attempt during the flight. After you land there’s a ‘re-gravitation’ party, with a champagne celebration, and some complimentary ZERO-G merchandise is presented to passengers.

ZERO-G: the video

Our very own Peter Blasina was lucky enough to have had a ZERO-G flight a few months ago, and made of short video of the experience.

Click here to watch the video (link will open in a new window).

Enter the competition

Click here to enter the competition. Remember, you have to have a GadgetGuy registered email and password, so be sure to read the How to Enter text on the competition page.

The competition closes on January 13, and the flight to Florida is booked for February 21. You can enter as many times as you want, but please remember, it is a game of skill, so simply duplicating the one answer many times to the 25 words or less question will not increase your chances.

UPDATE: Please note the change of venue – initially the flight was to be in Las Vegas, however circumstances have dictated that the location will in fact be Florida. What has not changed is the dollar value of the prize.