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Repeated tour November 2012

Now it was the time, the repetition should bring us finally the much longed for zero-g flight.


The Space Coast presented itself in the best weather, with a marvelous sunset.

Sunset over the space coast

Even the Space Shuttle runway could be seen on the approach. I saw it as a good omen.

Vehicle Assembly Building (middle) and Space Shuttle runway (middle right)

Kennedy Space Center

Same as last time the first day lead us to the Kennedy Space Center. Now we could use our membership in the Commander's Club and didn't need a new ticket.

There also was a special highlight for us: We were the first Europeans that got to see the Space Shuttle launch pad from up close. At the time of our arrival this tour existed only a week, and who knows how long it will be available... eventually the launch pads are supposed to be refurbished for new rockets.

Rocket garden under a bright blue sky

Part of our tour group

The crawler transporter, just refurbished

Space Shuttle Launch Pad

Panoramic view of Pad 39A

Hydrogen storage tank for the fueling of the Space Shuttle

Booster flame trench

Alligator fence, seen from inside the launch facility

Launch pad 39B was already refurbished

At the end, there was a special highlight: Space Shuttle Atlantis (yes, the real one that flew in space!)

Different view of the launch pad

On the back side the cables for the pad rescue system can be seen, which the astronauts would have used in case of a launch pad emergency.

Retention pond for the water of the sound suppression system. The water had to be cleaned because after the launch it was contaminated with toxic substances from the booster exhaust.

Directly behind the launch facilities lies the Atlantic ocean

Demounted flame deflectors from pad 39A

Zero-G flight and astronaut training

The weather forecast was promising, although the view to the beach and hotel was indicating otherwise. But the weather didn't let us down this time!

The Cocoa Beach pier, directly by the hotel

A first look on the zero-g aircraft


Last instructions from our coach Ivette (left)

Show your feet...

The flight profile of the zero-g flight was as follows: At first a martian parabola (1/3 g) was flown, then two moon parabolas (1/6 g), and then 12 zero-g parabolas. The following pictures give some impressions.

Moon gravity

One of the first zero-g parabolas

How great is this?

Our coach Ivette Jones


One thing couldn't be missed out:
The Superman flight through the length of the cabin. The following series shows some nice scenes.

We get ready

A dance in weightlessness

Human knot in mid-air

An astronaut training was part of the trip as well. It consisted of a Space Shuttle mission simulation including take-off an landing, and some fancy stuff like the zero-g wall and the multi-axis trainer. The commander of the Shuttle mission was picked by who did best on the Space Shuttle landing simulator, the person with the best landing got the job.This time it was me, after I was in Mission Control in my April simulation. Now my dream was fulfilled, if only in the simulation.

On the zero-g wall

Our hotel Best Western Cocoa Beach

Finally was to begin what we waited for over half a year...

Group picture in front of the aircraft - the flight was almost sold out

Group picture in the aircraft

Attuning for the experience

We lie flat on the aircraft floor awaiting the pull-up for the first parabola

Mars gravity

Finally back in weightlessness...

It is very nice to close one's eyes and let the body drift freely (I am seen in the background here)

In the background I am seen drifting about

More freedom than a bird

Let's go!

A bit playing around just had to be. There is so much that could be tried out in zero-g: drifting about, eating candies from the air, letting things float, gliding along the walls, all kinds of acrobatic moves, dancing...

Frei schwebende Fortbewegung

Another nice series of moves

Congratulations to the accomplished flight

Memory picture with astronaut Sam Durrance

Saturn V

A visit to the biggest manned rocket that ever existed just had to be. But besides that we also could see some wildlife...

Looks nice, but likes to steal the food from your plate

Alligators were there too, of course

The original Apollo spaceship Kitty Hawk

Camera and spacesuit repair kit

Checklist covered with moon dust

Finally I caught one of the vultures in flight

What a big rocket!

An original piece of moon rock

Lunar scoop and scale for moon rock probes

Sunset over the Kennedy Space Center


The last day, which also was our day of departure, brought us to the alligators of Gatorland.

Warning of dangerous alligators

A rare white alligator (no albino!)

More alligators

That's how the swamps of Florida could be imagined

Herons don't fear alligators

A woodstork from close-up

Feeding the alligator show

A vulture taking a sunbath

It was great, and I hope for returning to weightlessness soon!

Zero-G trip April 2012

European Space Tourist (german)

Zero-G Corporation