(Kitco News) – Zero-G is an airline company that offers a simulated weightlessness experience to passengers at a fraction of the price compared to others in the space travel tourism business. Not only is Zero-G dabbling in space and science, the company is now accepting Bitcoin as payment for tickets. Describing the zero gravity experience, Matt Gohd, CEO of Zero-G said, “It is the single most
unique experience a person could have.”
Gohd spoke to Michelle Makori, Lead Anchor and Editor-in-Chief of Kitco News.
Gohd explained why Zero-G is offering its customers the option of paying with Bitcoin. “We have partnered with Coinbase, in dealing with the crypto space. Our consumers will be able to purchase tickets with Bitcoin to start, and then pay with other cryptos as we become more comfortable with them,” he said. “Depending on where Bitcoin is in the price cycle, which changes frequently, we may stay long for a little while, and then turn the rest into cash.”
“But more importantly this is to give our consumers the option to pay and buy things with cryptos that they own,” Gohd added.
Gohd said he sees a convergence with the cryptocurrency space and space tourism. “We have been providing zero gravity experiences for a while. Our concept is not new, but the adaptation to space tourism is new. The audience that is interested in Zero-G uses Bitcoin to transact,” he emphasized. “They prefer to go into their digital wallet and send us Bitcoins to buy a ticket, rather than charge it on their credit card.”
Space tourism market heats up
Passenger space travel competition has heated up among new carriers as more players have gotten into the space tourism market. It grew significantly this year with billionaires Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, and Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin, both launching trips to the edge of space with passengers that for the first time were not trained astronauts.
Gohd explained how the space tourism market is broken down into a couple of pieces. “One is what we call sub-orbital, which goes up to the edge of space, not leaving the earth’s orbit,” he said. “They include Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and us – Zero Gravity.”
“There’s also World View, which takes you up in a balloon about a hundred thousand feet, and Space Perspectives, a similar idea. If you want to do more, there’s Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Axiom, that works closely with Musk,” he continued. “That price tag is a little more daunting. It’s about $60 million to visit the International Space Station for around 10 days. And people are doing it.”
The price of the Zero-G experience is $7,500 for a ticket, which is much more reasonable than Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX. “Right now, to fly on the Virgin Galactic, a rocket powered glider that is dropped from a plane at about 50,000 feet, and goes straight up and down – the cost is $450,000,” he said. “Blue Origin goes straight up in a rocket. You’re in a capsule, the capsule separates, you get zero gravity at that point. It’s about a $3 to $4 million experience.”
Zero-G is not just fun and games with big focus on science
Referring to William Shatner travelling to space earlier this week, and how much fun this experience is — Gohd also spoke about the serious side of the business that is focused on science. “As fun as it is to create this amazing experience where people dream of being an astronaut or dream of what it feels like to be in space, half of our business is science,” he emphasized. “We work closely with major universities, and with NASA. Creating experiments in a microgravity environment is very important, because there is no other way besides going into space to see how fluids react or how solids change density. And that is a little price prohibitive.”
“We can create environments on the plane, including what it’s like to be on the moon, which is known as lunar gravity. We can bring up a payload with a computer and see hands on — how things work,” Gohd added.
For more on Gohd’s views on the space tourism market, please watch the full video above. Follow Michelle Makori on Twitter: @MichelleMakori
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