Stephen Hawking Test-Drives Zero Gravity

By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2007 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Paralyzed super-physicist Stephen Hawking completed a zero-gravity flight off the Florida coast yesterday—floating weightless and free of his wheelchair for 25-second busts. "It was amazing,"  Hawking said after the flight. "Space, here I come!" The American firm normally charges $3,750 for the experience, but waived the fee for the Hawking.

The physicist, who is 65 and suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, was weightless for eight  bursts during the one hour flight. Hawking proclaimed last year that humanity "doesn't have a future" without colonizing other planets. He wants to go into space with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, scheduled to begin flights in 2009.