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Let's face it - Though roller coasters have become faster and perhaps even longer over the years, they still have the same routine - A rapid escalation followed by a stomach churning descent, a few heart-stopping loops and if you are lucky, maybe an upside down turn. Now, a Southern California firm has designed a ride that is bound to get you off your chairs - literally! All they need to build it, is a theme park ready to take the challenge and $50 million USD!
The Zero-Gravity Coaster is the brainchild of BRC imagination Arts, who got the inspiration from NASA's KC-135 A aircraft. Used by the Space Agency to train astronauts, the plane, often called Vomit Comet helps scientists simulate space conditions by performing 30-40 parabolic plunges, each creating about 20-25 seconds of microgravity.
The roller coaster will follow a similar trajectory. Between six to sixteen passengers will be allowed inside an enclosed aircraft-like coaster car. Once seated, they will be strapped in with two-point restraints - However, unlike other roller coasters, these will be slightly slack so that the passengers can move in their seats.
Then, the fun begins! The aircraft coaster car will first accelerate up a track at 100mph and then without warning, decelerate shaking the riders out of their seat. Thanks to the slightly loose seatbelts, this action will give the passengers the illusion of being suspended in the air. A few seconds later, the coaster will begin its backward track. However, unlike normal roller coasters that always retract at the same speed, this one will recalibrate depending on the weight of the passengers on board, thus maintaining the sense of weightlessness.
And that's not all - To make the experience even more surreal, each passenger will have a scientific package comprising of a cup full of water, ball and gyroscope, tethered in front of their seat. As the coaster moves, they will be able to see how each of them behaves under zero gravity conditions.
Also, for those who insist on going on the ride with a full stomach, there is a drain pipe, just in case they need to throw up! There will also be some attendents waiting outside to hose the passenger off as he/she exits the coaster car. Though the whole outer space experience will last just eight seconds, the inventors promise it 'will feel like forever'!
BRC Imagination Arts maintains that if they can convince a theme park to fork out the $50mm USD, the ride could become a reality as early as end of 2013! Below, is a video of what it feels like inside NASA's Vomit Comet - If the Zero Gravity Coaster is going to be anything like this, we for one, can't wait!