Houston Chronicle
April 26, 2007, 7:24AM
Stephen Hawking set to fly weightless

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press Writer
© 2007 The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — For a few seconds on Thursday, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking expects to feel the exhilaration of escaping his paralysis and floating free in zero gravity.

"For someone like me whose muscles don't work very well, it will be bliss to be weightless," Hawking told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of his planned zero gravity flight.

Hawking, a mathematics professor at the Cambridge who has done groundbreaking work on black holes and the origins of the universe, has the paralyzing disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 65-year-old was set Thursday to become the first person with a disability to experience the Zero Gravity Corp. flight.

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(KLD)