Feeds

Hawking is leaving gravity on a jet plane

Back again in 20-40 seconds

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Stephen Hawking is going to be sent up on the vomit comet, a specially modified plane that allows its passengers to experience weightlessness. The trip is courtesy of operating firm Zero Gravity, which has waived its normal $3,000 fee for the good professor.

Passengers on the specially modified Boeing 727 experience free-fall during the flight, exactly matching the sensation of being in "zero" gravity in orbit around Earth.

The plane flies in a series of parabolas; long, steep arcs of ascent and descent with a weightless period at each peak lasting between 20 and 40 seconds.

Hawking will be accompanied by two doctors and three nurses who will check him for any ill effects after the first "dive". Zero Gravity says it will consider the mission a success if they get Hawking weightless for around 25 seconds. Any more than that will be a bonus.

The Cambridge physicist is evidently looking forward to the experience. He has made no secret of the fact that he believes humanity's future lies on other planets, and his fascination with space goes beyond his professional interest. Indeed, the man who made black holes mainstream also has a reservation on a sub-orbital flight scheduled for 2009.

The BBC quotes him as saying: "I have wanted to fly in space all of my life. For someone like me whose muscles don't work very well, it will be bliss to be weightless." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.