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March 14, 2018: When Stephen Hawking ended his wheelchair ride of the universe

In this photo provided by Zero Gravity Corp., astrophysicist Stephen Hawking floats on a zero-gravity jet, Thursday, April 26, 2007. The modified jet carrying Hawking, a handful of his physicians and nurses, and dozens of others first flew up to 24,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. Nurses lifted Hawking and carried him to the front of the jet, where they placed him on his back atop a special foam pillow. The plane made a total of eight parabolic dips, including two during which Hawking made two weightless flips like “a gold-medal gymnast,” said Peter Diamandis, chairman of Zero Gravity Corp., the company that owns the jet.

In this photo provided by Zero Gravity Corp., astrophysicist Stephen Hawking floats on a zero-gravity jet, Thursday, April 26, 2007. The modified jet carrying Hawking, a handful of his physicians and nurses, and dozens of others first flew up to 24,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. Nurses lifted Hawking and carried him to the front of the jet, where they placed him on his back atop a special foam pillow. The plane made a total of eight parabolic dips, including two during which Hawking made two weightless flips like “a gold-medal gymnast,” said Peter Diamandis, chairman of Zero Gravity Corp., the company that owns the jet.  

Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain the origins of the universe and the mysteries of black holes, died on March 14, 2018 aged 76. Ravaged by the wasting motor neuron disease he developed at 21, Hawking was confined to a wheelchair for most of his life. But at the same time he became the world’s most recognisable scientist, having shot to fame after the 1988 publication of A Brief History of Time. On April 26, 2007, Hawking, in an attempt to build awareness of the importance of space exploration, completed a zero-gravity flight in a specially modified plane. In this photo provided by Zero Gravity Corporation, Hawking floated on the jet, grinning the whole time. The plane made a total of eight parabolic dips, including two during which Hawking made two weightless flips like “a goldmedal gymnast,” said Peter Diamandis, chairman, Zero Gravity. “It was amazing... I could have gone on and on... Space, here I come!” BBC quoted Hawking as saying after the flight.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 4:09:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/march-14-2018-when-stephen-hawking-ended-his-wheelchair-ride-of-the-universe/article23281218.ece

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