Well I don’t expect an application to join NASA to be forthcoming anytime soon, but I did survive my flying weightless experience in Chicago! There were only 12 wannabee astronauts on this flight when 36 is the usual number, so much more room to try forward, backward and even sideways somersaults plus handsprings and other Gymnastic manoeuvres!
Somewhere over Lake Michigan we initially experienced Martian Gravity (50% bodyweight) then Lunar Gravity (30%) making Press-ups really easy. Once we got to Zero Gravity for the first time Boof! ….. it was straight up to the ceiling! Being weightless for 30 seconds at a time is the most bizarre feeling ever as you adjust to trying to control not only your body but also your stomach which seems to be spinning in different directions to the rest of you (and yes the receptacle in my right hand was required, so I now have something in common with Tom Hanks who used this aircraft while preparing for the Apollo 13 film)
Beforehand I hadn’t really thought about the 10,000 foot dive before each climb – that was pretty scary and loud so all in all I was quite relieved to walk on airport tarmac after my 3 hour flight. To mark joining the weightless club the name badge on my suit was ceremonially turned the right way up, and I was allowed to keep my flight suit!
As well as the challenge I’m raising money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and will be most grateful if you feel you can donate online: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rosiethompson2