Usain Bolt, a retired legend of world athletics, has returned to participate in a race. Unlike all the experiences lived by the former Jamaican athlete, this time he had to run inside a “zero gravity” flight, leaving funny images and videos everywhere.
The eight-time Olympic champion took a flight specialized in simulating “zero gravity”. The objective was to encourage the consumption of a champagne that, given the increase in space tourism projects, may be consumed outside our planet.
The plane that Bolt climbed was the Airbus A310. As shown in the video, the retired athlete participated in a race in weightlessness and could barely place his feet on the surface. Despite the falls and setbacks, the champion showed what he is made of.
How zero gravity Plane works?
Actually, zero gravity does not exist, you will always be under the gravitational influence of some body in space. What can be generated is the sensation of zero gravity (microgravity or weightlessness). To generate the sensation inside the airplane, the pilot must make certain maneuvers so that the vehicle takes a parabolic flight trajectory. As seen in the image below, this tour can be divided into two stages: up and down.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) September 12, 2018
When the plane reaches an altitude of 6,000 meters, the plane starts an ascent with an angle of 47 °, thus causing a feeling of over gravity inside of 1.8 to 2g. People inside will feel up to twice as heavy for a short time.
In the second stage, the plane reaches 8,000 meters in height to begin its descent. When it does, the feeling of gravity inside goes down to almost zero (microgravity or zero gravity).
Once the plane returns to reach 6,000 meters, it repeats the process, going from over gravity to microgravity successively.
Achieving a correct sense of free fall would not be possible without the correct understanding of the Principle of Equivalence proposed by Albert Einstein in 1907. Another clear example can be found on the International Space Station where astronauts, who coincidentally are also in free fall, They experience this “zero gravity” feeling.