A rare opportunity presented itself recently to eight differently-enabled children. A chance to experience zero gravity.

The European Space Agency and Novespace (a part of CNES space agency) got together to make it happen. The children were accompanied by astronauts from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. They rode a converted Airbus A310 together, its continuous parabolic arcs making it possible to simulate effects similar to zero-gravity in space.

Both the children and the astronauts got a taste of floating without gravity. The astronauts also performed many experiments for their guests, including showing the effects of a lit candle in the absence of gravity, and setting up a fun game of ping-pong with water drops.