SOURCE: Zero Gravity Corporation

October 08, 2007 11:00 ET

During U.N.-Declared World Space Week, Students From Nine Countries Joined in Las Vegas For Global Celebration of Space Age's 50th Anniversary and to Inspire Education in Science and Math Worldwide

On October 6, Students From Bahrain, Italy, Nigeria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Thailand, China, Norway and United States Celebrated Pioneers of Man's Greatest Adventure Aboard Zero-Gravity Flight; Identical Weightless Flight Experience Used by NASA to Train Its Astronauts

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - October 8, 2007) - On October 6, nine exceptional students from around the world joined to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the space age and inspire students worldwide to excel in education, demonstrate international cooperation and visibly launch humankind's next 50 years in space. The students came together to encourage future explorers as they celebrated the pioneers of man's greatest adventure and experienced weightlessness for the first time aboard a Zero Gravity Corporation flight, which delivers an experience previously only possible for astronauts. The flight was part of the United Nations-declared World Space Week, October 4-10.

"For the Youth Inspiration Program, we selected nine students who are role models for the students of the world," said World Space Week Association President Dennis Stone. The students selected, all age 15-18, were Mohamed Selais of Bahrain, Diego Magrini of Italy, Adeolu Akano of Nigeria, Yuranis Castro of Colombia, Veronika Simova of Czech Republic, Sunaree Naeramit of Thailand, Li Mutian of China, Kristian Rasmussen of Norway and Devin Green of the United States. Sponsors included United Launch Alliance, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Batelco, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and National Space Research and Development Agency of Nigeria.

All nine students excel in the fields of math and science with aspirations to further their education to become future space explorers; each are stand-out scholars and innovators within their schools and communities:

--  Devin Green of the United States is from New Orleans, LA and was a
    victim of Hurricane Katrina. Devin is a senior at McMain Senior High
    School, the President of the McMain FRC Robotics Team and has a strong
    interest in communications and forensic science
--  Yuranis Castro of Colombia. Since age seven, Yuranis has dreamt of
    flying into space and visiting the moon and Mars.  Today at age 16, Yuranis
    studies at a school that only has four computers for more than 800
    students. Undeterred, she leads a project to build the first astronomical
    observatory of the region and one of the biggest of the country inside the
    school
--  Adeolu Akano of Nigeria stands out among his peers by being very
    diligent in his studies of science and space to reach his goal of becoming
    a scientist, despite poor living conditions that limit adequate necessities
    such as electricity and running water
--  Mohamed Selais of Bahrain, an honor student, always has shown a
    passion for space exploration and looks to one day become an astronaut
--  Yeronika Simova of Czech Republic has displayed a dedicated interest
    in her studies of aeronautics, science and technology enabling her to
    participate in a six-day student spaceflight simulation in Belgium
--  Li Mutian of China developed extraordinary dexterity in his space and
    communication skills leading him to participate in simulated UN meetings
    organized by his school where he plays the role of a diplomat.
--  Diego Magrini of Italy has shown a life-long interest in space and is
    currently attending his forth year at the Aeronautical Institute in Milan
--  Sunaree Naeramit of Thailand was selected from among 240 students to
    participate in the Youth Inspiration Program due to her passion of science
    and math and vision for the future
--  Kristian Rasmussen of Norway, age 18, was selected as a result of a
    national competition for which he wrote a compelling essay on why he should
    represent Norway for this symbolic occasion. He is from Krokelvdalen in the
    Troms region
    

"On this significant milestone for the space age, we are proud to have sent those outstanding students this one-of-a-kind experience," Stone continued. "World Space Week demonstrates to young people everywhere that they can achieve their dreams by excelling in education, and that the exploration and uses of space brings our whole world closer together."

The United Nations declared October 4-10 annually as World Space Week. The Space Age began on October 4, 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1. The world's first international space treaty took effect October 10, 1967. World Space Week is celebrated with a myriad of public and student events in some 50 nations.

"World Space Week 2007 is the largest public space celebration in history," Stone said. "We've encouraged the public to attend events in their area and we encourage teachers to use space in the classrooms during the week." The global calendar of events is available at www.worldspaceweek.org.

The flight was operated by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G®), the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights. The experience it offers is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true "weightlessness" without going to space; it is the identical weightless flight maneuver used by NASA to train its astronauts and used by Ron Howard and Tom Hanks to film "Apollo 13." The flight includes approximately 15 parabolas ranging from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6 G) and Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness and deliver twice the amount of weightless time achieved in a typical sub-orbital flight into space. The unforgettable weightless voyage with ZERO-G gave these students the chance to fly like Superman, flip like an Olympic gymnast and enjoy 10-times more hang-time than the world's best basketball player. They had the chance to see water hover before their eyes, or release a handful of M&M's and chase them down like a game of human PacMan.

"Partnering with the World Space Week Association for the Youth Inspiration Program to enable these students to experience weightlessness for the first time is an incredible milestone in my efforts to bring the fun and excitement of space and weightlessness to the world," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Co-Founder of ZERO-G. "I believe that by engaging students across the globe and illustrating that our wildest dreams can become reality, we will help to inspire tomorrow's explorers."

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, an avid sponsor of the Youth Inspiration Program, experienced zero-gravity flights himself during the filming of "Apollo-13." Reflecting on the Youth Inspiration Program as an avenue to inspire students to focus on their education, Hanks described the initiative as "a brilliant idea, truly brilliant."


About World Space Week Association

Founded in 1981, World Space Week Association (www.worldspaceweek.org) is a non-profit organization that supports the United Nations in the global coordination of World Space Week, the largest public space event on Earth, celebrated in some 50 nations each October 4-10. For a calendar of planned events around the world, see www.worldspaceweek.org/calendar.

About ZERO-G

Zero Gravity Corporation (www.GoZeroG.com) is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of space accessible to the public. ZERO-G is based in Las Vegas and Florida and is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flight to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government.

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Las Vegas, ZERO-G is led by a world-class team of veteran astronauts and experienced business leaders. The company was co-founded by X PRIZE Chairman and space visionary, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis; and veteran astronaut, Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg. The duo spent more than a decade working to bring the marvel of weightless flight to the public. Since launching the ZERO-G Experience to the general public in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 100 weightless flights and flown over 3,000 passengers, including celebrities and media personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers, and individuals age 12 to 93. The ZERO-G Experience™, which includes training led by a professional astronaut, a flight of 15 parabolas, flight suit, complimentary merchandise, awards, a post-event party, photos, and a DVD of the flight, is offered at a price of $3,500 per seat. For the current flight schedule, more information or to book a seat, visit www.GoZeroG.com, www.sharperimage.com or call 1-800-937-6480.

Please contact Natalie Mounier at 702-737-3100 or nmounier@kirvindoak.com for the broadcast-quality footage of the embedded video, interview requests, additional photography or more information.

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