OK Go’s zero-gravity video part of a thrill-seeking tourist craze


Zero-gravity flights, like the one used in Ok Go’s video, were originally used to train astronauts, but today are available for thrill-seeking tourists. (Ok Go/ Facebook)

The pop band OK Go, known for its whacky choreographed videos on treadmills and in a Rube Goldberg machine, has created a music video in a zero gravity aircraft thats creating a huge buzz on social media.

Upside Down & Inside Out, which was released directly to Facebook Thursday, was shot onboard a S7 Airlines zero-gravity airplane.

S7 Airlines, a Russian regional airline based in Moscow, flies to more than 85 destinations, the majority of which are domestic.  But they do serve international destinations, including Austria, Armenia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.

The airlines joint venture with the band was meant to raise its profile, which we can assume has already been achieved. (The music video has already been viewed over 27 million times.) 

Hello, Dear Ones. Please enjoy our new video for “Upside Down & Inside Out”. A million thanks to S7 Airlines. #GravitysJustAHabit

Posted by OK Go on Thursday, February 11, 2016

So whats an American rock band doing working with a Russian domestic carrier?

The airline has an outfitted anti-gravity aircraft a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 –which allows passengers to experience weightlessness for about 25 seconds at a time.  Thats possible because pilots fly in a wave-like pathsimilar to a really crazy roller coaster ride, with ascents of 45 degrees and nose dives of 30 degrees. The result, called parabolic motion, creates the sensation of zero gravity for passengers. These flights have been affectionately called vomit comets –for obvious reasons.

OK Go has a fascinating explanation of how, for their video, they made 21 flights, with 15 zero gravity parabolas per flight, for a total of about two hours and fifteen minutes in weightlessnessall without anyone getting sick.  The band traveled to Moscow to get three weeks of training at the Roscosmos State Corporation center, Russias space science program.  Also a note of interest, the two spinning flight attendants in the video are real S7 crew members who happened to have acrobatic training.

Zero-gravity flights were originally used to train astronauts. NASA’s Reduced Gravity Program beganin 1959. But over the past decade they have been used for gravity-free movie shots– like Apollo 13, “Gravity” and photo shoots like Kate Uptons Sports Illustrated Swimsuit with Zero Gravity Corp.

Now these flights are going mainstream as experiences for thrill-seeking tourists with some money to burn. Russias Space Affairs has a zero gravity experience for tourist that costs about $6,7000; French company Novespace allows the public to experience a parabolic flight in an outfitted IL-76 cargo jet for about the same price. Zero Gravity Corp., in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has one for the non-super model population for about $5000.

If you’re brave enough, youll likely have to get a medical exam before you go, good insurance–oh, and a barf bag.  

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