Weightlessness

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In preparation for space flights, which have not yet taken place, the Air Force conducts early experiments in zero gravity - weightlessness astronauts will experience in orbit. Warren Young, LIFE editor, joins the experiments in order to write a story about what weightlessness feels like.

To achieve weightlessness the experimenters must fly an airplane through a ballistic curve in the sky. As the aircraft zooms up and over the curve, the people inside become weightless for a short time - 10 to 15 seconds - as the aircraft transitions from a climb into a dive.

To accumulate enough weightlessness to make this film producer Robert Drew and his film crew had to fly ballistic curves for nearly a week. Of the experience Warren Young wrote "you pass through a looking glass into a world of new dimensions and mysterious delights." "Everyone is smiling and wears a look of pure delight." This film was featured between acts on the Ed Sullivan television show and featured on CBS News.

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