A Day in Space, 30 Seconds at a time!
I'm a freelance photographer and I'm lucky enough to shoot all sorts of interesting jobs, but I have one client that floats far above the rest!
I have been taking photographs for the Zero Gravity Corporation since 2006. During that time I have flown on hundreds of parabolic "micro-gravity" flights and have amassed over twenty-four hours of zero gravity over many thousands of thirty second parabolas.
When I decided, back in junior school (middle school), to be a photographer like my father, projects like this were what I was imagining and dreaming of. Out in the real world the hard truth is that gigs like this are very rare so I feel truly blessed to be included in the team that make Zero Gravity flights available to the masses. We've flown with many celebrities, scientists and people from all walks of life, still to this day I look forward to every flight. Each one is an incredible event that I continue to get excited about.
How a Zero Gravity Flight Works
Zero gravity flights are performed using a specially modified aircraft, an FAA approved aircraft called G-Force One. The maneuvers are conducted in dedicated airspace 100 miles long by 10 miles wide. Specially trained pilots fly the aircraft in a series of maneuvers called parabolas, or arcs, between the altitudes of 24,000 and 32,000 feet.
At the beginning of each parabola, the aircraft climbs at a 45-degree angle. At the "top" of the parabola, the aircraft is "pushed over" into a controlled descent that creates a temporary zero-gravity environment. The teacher flights include approximately 15 parabolas ranging from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6th G) or Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness. At the end of each "weightless" period, which lasts approximately 30 seconds, the aircraft is gradually pulled out of the descent, reestablishing a more normal gravity environment inside the plane.
On contract for an adventure flight company, Steve Boxall photographs passengers experiencing weightlessness on a Boeing 727 jet. By David Walker
IN ZERO GRAVITY" SO UBIQUITOUS ARE IMAGES OF COSMOLOGIST Stephen Hawking in his wheelchair, that the chair has become part of his identity. But there he is without it, in a photograph by Steve Boxall, floating weightlessly in the belly of a jet with joy on his face.... Read more