Sam Champion Goes to Space

It's long been the province of a chosen few: to be released from Earth's mighty pull and to float effortlessly through space.

NASA astronauts have been doing it for years.

Science experiments done at zero gravity, and in September French doctors performed the world's first surgery -- a cyst removal -- done at zero gravity to learn how future surgeries could happen in space.

And now, for the first time, regular people can experience weightlessness above Las Vegas. G Force One is the first regular, commercial zero-gravity plane to bring nonastronauts as close to a spacewalk as you can get at 30,000 feet.

"Good Morning America's" Sam Champion tried out the ride.

Before the flight, instructors say you should eat a little food. The biggest fear of weightlessness is that you might literally lose your lunch, but you should eat anyway.

"Please don't go up on an empty stomach," instructor Peter Diamondes said. "It's important you eat something. It actually settles your stomach."

After a one-hour orientation from a former astronaut, Champion and his fellow passengers flew out over the Nevada desert and soon lay flat on the floor as the plane made its 45-degree climb.

"It feels like at takeoff -- feeling when you're pushed into the seat of the plane," Champion said during the ascent. "You can feel the weight of your body right now."

At 30,000 feet, the plane makes rapid climbs and descents. At the top of each curve, just as the plane begins to descend, everyone and everything inside the plane goes into a kind of weightless free fall -- known as zero gravity.

The first dive is a bit of a warm-up and gives passengers a sense of what would it feel like on Mars, which has about one-third of Earth's gravity.

"This is a one arm push-up," Champion said. "It's absolutely amazing. You can do it with a finger and a thumb."

On the second dive, the plane has less gravity.

On the second dive, you're "much, much lighter. You're very aware of your movement," Champion said. "Your whole body is lighter. Even your breath is lighter. Even your lungs feel much freer."

A few dives later, the plane is at full-throttle zero gravity, and passengers can easily tumble around.

When Champion tried to drink water, it came out as blobs of water from the bottle.

The plane continued to do almost 12 cycles. Others on board were able to toss Champion like he was a volleyball. The periods of weightlessness lasted less than a minute each time, with stretches of regular flying in between.

"During the wait time, it actually feels like sitting on a normal plane, and now that you've experienced weightlessness this actually feels boring," he said.

The trip costs $3,500.

Kids can fly too, but passengers must be at least 12 years old.

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