What happened to Zero-G Football?

6 10 2011

Even team sports are possible on larger "zero-g" aircraft. (Credit: Space Adventures)

Back in late 2005, a company called IPX Entertainment, (headed by Haughton-Mars Project veteran Rocky Persaud,) began promoting microgravity sports.

With an interview with Leonard David, another on Ajax Developers Journal, and a piece written by Rocky himself on The Space Review, he championed the promise of repeat customers for viewing and participating in zero-g sports as a way to break open the NewSpace market to the masses.

The plan included a reality show, “Space Champions,” which would chronicle the development of a proprietary sport, first called “Parabolic Football,” or “Paraball,” and then intriguingly changed to, “Zero Gravity Football.”  (Was “Paraball” too confusing a term?)

Rendering of a Virgin Galactic suborbital space passenger. (Credit: Zero G)

A Zero Gravity Sports League was also on the books, as were flagship microgravity Zero Gravity Football teams in the U.S. and Canada.

This appeared to capitalize on the rush of attention given to Virgin Galactic SpaceShipOne’s  clinching of the Ansari X Prize, and by all accounts, the situation as of this late 2006 interview was looking up.

So, what happened?

I actually don’t have a direct answer.  The company no longer exists, and the corporate charter has been revoked.  I suspect the fact that the commercial suborbital space market didn’t mature as quickly as many hoped played a role.  Also, the failure of the Rocket Racing League to take off (yet), which is also a “space sport” intended to rally public interest in private space, may have made investors and advertisers hesitant to invest in a “zero-g sport.”

Regardless, perhaps with SpaceShipTwo about ready to fly and XCor’s Lynx right behind, the market may be more fertile for the advent of microgravity sports?


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