Space Adventures acquires Zero-G

Space Adventures announced today that it has acquired a 100% stake in Zero Gravity Corporation, the company that provides parabolic flights that simulate weightlessness. Space Adventures already had a stake in the company (of undisclosed size, but said to be “one of the largest investors” in Zero-G); terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. “Our decision to acquire the remaining equity in ZERO-G is a strategic fit within Space Adventures’ overall business plan, strengthening our position as the only operational commercial spaceflight services company,” Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures, said in a statement. Zero Gravity Corp. will continue as a separate operating unit, with co-founder Peter Diamandis continuing as CEO. Diamandis, who also co-founded Space Adventures, will become managing director of the company as well. Former NASA astronaut Byron Lichtenberg, another Zero-G co-founder, will remain as CTO of the unit. The deal actually dates back to the beginning of the year, but was not announced until today.

This acquisition is not necessarily that surprising (given in part that Diamandis helped found both companies). Space Adventures cut its teeth back in the late 90s selling zero-g flights in Russia (since Zero-G was still working its way through the regulatory process to permit such commercial flights in the US), and bringing that capability in-house doubtless has some financial benefits to the company. The press release plays up the vertical integration aspect of the deal, allowing the same company to offer everything from the parabolic flights to orbital missions, but right now there’s not much in-between, especially since Space Adventures has been downplaying earlier plans to develop suborbital vehicles.

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