ZeroG Flight

zeroG at Willow Garage

Creativity is important in a research lab: At Willow Garage, we push the envelope, test the limits, and in this case find a workaround to the law of gravity.

On Saturday, as a culmination of our our summer interns program about 30 folks from Willow Garage took a ride on G-Force One, the 727 that has been modified to provide a weightless experience for its passengers. Each zero gravity parabola provides about 30 seconds of weightlessness, followed by 20 seconds of 1.8 G's as the plane pulls out of its dive and climbs for the next cycle.

The short weightless sessions were frenzied and fun (see more pictures).We did the standard stuff: flying like superman, flipping, eating M&M's out of the air, watching water float (and then drop when gravity comes back). We also tried some new stuff. Scott brought along 400 ping pong balls and released them all at once (see the video). When my kids were little I could "bench press" them, and on this trip I pressed (tossed may be a better word) my oldest son Jonathan, who now weighs about the same as me, in moon gravity.