Just in case SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch was not enough to convince you that space is awesome, last week also saw an unlikely gang of clubbers and astronauts throw a party in zero gravity.
With club music pumping and strobe lights flashing, the party set off from Frankfurt airport on Wednesday, February 7, in a zero-G Airbus, a repurposed A310 Airbus plane used to train astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA). Onboard were over 50 guests, including DJs Steve Aoki and W&W, a gaggle of fearless clubbers, and two European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts, Jean-Francois Clervoy and Pedro Duque.
"Our first reaction was, 'What?!'" French astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy told CNN. "Then we realized it must be possible as there are no rules of physics or civil aviation that say no, so let's make it happen."
BigCityBeats, the Earthbound organizers of the event, selected 14 clubbers from contestants who submitted videos on social media. The winners hailed from countries dotted across the world, including Australia, Brazil, Korea, India, and Germany. You can check out some of the highlights from the event in the video below.
The 90-minute party spent a total of 25 minutes in zero gravity. The plane simulates zero gravity by performing parabolic flight maneuvers at altitudes of 9,750 meters (32,000 feet). This involves the plane ascending and descending in a pattern of steep up-and-down movements. During the plane’s free-fall downwards trajectory, people inside the aircraft will experience a sense of weightlessness. As you can imagine, all of this dipping and diving can take its toll on your stomach and its contents, hence the trip is sometimes affectionately known as the “vomit comet”.
“We were pretty nervous, but after the first jump it was, like, indescribable,” W&W said in a statement after the flight, “...though any actual DJ-ing was all but impossible in the weightless conditions, because you were always swimming away from the console.”
Back in 2016, beer company Desperados took to the skies above Las Vegas with the first ever zero-gravity DJ set. While BigCityBeats might not have been the first to do a zero-gravity rave, they certainly have some very ambitious plans for the future.
"Since we are doing a lot of things which are unique, everybody was asking me – when do you fly to the moon?" Bernd Breiter, CEO of BigCityBeats, told AFP. "That will take a while if it's possible. But we are coming a little bit closer."