space is calling

Out-of-this-world weightless flight experience blasts off from Houston this spring

Take weightless flight above Houston this March. Zero-G Experience/Instagram

If you were over the moon after witnessing the recent flights hauling billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson — and even final frontier fave Captain Kirk — to space, then an out-of-this-world experience launching from Houston may have you thanking your lucky stars for the chance to become a bona fide space cadet.

TheZero-G Experience, operated by privately held space entertainment and tourism company Zero Gravity Corporation, will land in Space City on March 19, giving locals the opportunity to hop aboard the FAA-approved G-Force One, a modified Boeing 727-200 that allows passengers to experience the feeling of weightlessness — without actually traveling to space.

Billed as an experience that’s like nothing on earth, the Zero-G Experience enables flyers to encounter a weightless environment in which they can “float, flip, and soar like an astronaut,” all without actually slipping the surly bonds of Earth.

According to the Zero Gravity Corp., here’s how it works: “The process starts with the aircraft flying level with the horizon at an altitude of 24,000 feet. The pilots then gradually increase the angle of the aircraft to about 45 degrees relative to the horizon until reaching an altitude of 32,000 feet. During this phase, passengers feel the pull of 1.8 Gs. Next, the plane pushes over the top of the parabolic arc and the zero-gravity phase begins. For the next 20-30 seconds, everything in the plane is weightless. Finally, the plane gently pulls out of the maneuver, allowing flyers to gradually return to the floor of the aircraft.”

The flight enables guests to experience lunar gravity (one-sixth their weight), as well as Martian gravity (one-third their weight).

And you don’t even have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy this spaced-out experience. However, from the come-back-down-to-earth reality side of things, you will have to drop a pretty penny for the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity.

The five-hour Houston Zero-G Experience, which includes 15 parabola (gravity-free) acrobatic maneuvers, costs $8,200 per person. (People of all abilities and ages 8 and older are welcome; though those with certain medical conditions may need to get doctor approval.) The purchase price includes a Zero-G flight suit, Zero-G merch, a certificate of weightless completion, and photos and videos from the experience.

A Zero-G medical pro will also conduct a rapid COVID-19 test on all passengers prior to flight.

Houstonians can book tickets for the local flight here.

Aside from Houston, the only other Texas city the Zero-G Experience will visit is Austin, with the flight taking off from Capital City on March 20.

For more info and to watch videos of the Zero-G Experience, visit the Zero-G website.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

With Clutch, connecting brands with creators has never been easier and more inclusive. Photo courtesy of Clutch

An app that originally launched on Houston college campuses has announced it's now live nationwide.

Clutch founders Madison Long and Simone May set out to make it easier for the younger generation to earn money with their skill sets. After launching a beta at local universities last fall, Clutch's digital marketplace is now live for others to join in.

The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more. With weekly payments to creators and an inclusive platform for users on both sides of the equation, Clutch aims to make digital collaboration easier and more reliable for everyone.

“We’re thrilled to bring our product to market to make sustainable, authentic lifestyles available to everyone through the creator economy," says May, CTO and co-founder of Clutch. "We’re honored to be part of the thriving innovation community here in Houston and get to bring more on-your-own-terms work opportunities to all creators and businesses through our platform.”

In its beta, Clutch facilitated collaborations for over 200 student creators and 50 brands — such as DIGITS and nama. The company is founded with a mission of "democratizing access to information and technology and elevating the next generation for all people," according to a news release from Clutch. In the beta, 75 percent of the creators were people of color and around half of the businesses were owned by women and people of color.

“As a Clutch Creator, I set my own pricing, schedule and services when collaborating on projects for brands,” says Cathy Syfert, a creator through Clutch. “Clutch Creators embrace the benefits of being a brand ambassador as we create content about the products we love, but do it on behalf of the brands to help the brands grow authentically."

The newly launched product has the following features:

  • Creator profile, where users can share their services, pricing, and skills and review inquiries from brands.
  • Curated matching from the Clutch admin team.
  • Collab initiation, where users can accept or reject incoming collab requests with brands.
  • Collab management — communication, timing, review cycles — all within the platform.
  • In-app payments with a weekly amount selected by the creators themselves.
  • Seamless cancellation for both brands and creators.
Clutch raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Precursor Ventures, Capital Factory, HearstLab, and more. Clutch was originally founded as Campus Concierge in 2021 and has gone through the DivInc Houston program at the Ion.

Madison Long, left, and Simone May co-founded Clutch. Photo courtesy of Clutch

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