You don’t have to leave the earth’s atmosphere to experience space – just go to Virginia.
By Shira Karsen
Looking for an adventurous vacation closer to home? Virginia has just the thing. Thanks to V.A.’s unique position of being one out of four states launching rockets for tourists, the land has become a hub for astro aficionados and enthralled onlookers alike. Down on the eastern shore, travellers can visit the Wallops Flight Facility, which recently became NASA’s primary facility for suborbital missions and is home to a host of programs including the Wallops Balloon program, Aircraft program, and of course rocket launches.
Away from Wallops in northern Virginia is The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, where the whole family can take a virtual tour into space with the flight simulator, watch an I-MAX space themed movie, and even crack open a bag of hermetically sealed astronaut ice cream (it sounds gross, but believe us when we say it’s actually pretty tasty). Still not enough? Head down to Hampton, VA at the Virginia Air and Space Museum – the birth place of America’s space program – and you can view the actual Apollo 12 Command Capsule that went to the moon, see a moon rock, historic planes, and even a Mars meteorite.
And if all this gets you in the mood to float, flip and soar as if you were in space, well, you can do that too thanks to Arlington based company, ZERO-G. The company offers weightlessness experiences via flights on its specially modified Boeing 727, which performs parabolic arcs to create the space-like environment. A ZERO-G Experience is available starting at $4,950 per person and includes 12-15 parabolas, your own ZERO-G flight suit, ZERO-G merchandise, a Regravitation Celebration, certificate of weightless completion, photos and video of your unique experience. Read more about how it works HERE. There next flight in the DC-area is scheduled for March 17th.
For more information and space tourism options, click here to go to Virginia’s tourism website.