In Douglas Adamâ€™s book Life, The Universe, and Everything, he shares the secret of flying: itâ€™s the art of learning how to â€œthrow yourself at the ground and miss.â€Â Tim Bailey Â teaches people how to do just that: Â throw themselves at the ground (in an airplane) and miss in order to fly.
Professionally speaking, Tim wears a lot of hats. Although his LinkedIn profile gives his job title as simply â€œCatalystâ€, it Â then lists 10 separate jobs under â€œCurrentâ€. To name just a few, he works on SpaceVidcast, Space Task Force, Yuriâ€™s Night (The World Space Party), and is the co-founder and Chief Operating Office of Sky Fire Labâ€”an independent organization promoting space travel in the media. See a theme yet? Â But if you scroll down to the bottom of his lengthy list of job titles, you will see that he is also a member of the Parabolic Flight Crew for the ZERO-G Corporation. Whatâ€™s that you ask? parabolic what?
Timâ€™s job is the closest thing there is to being an astronaut without actually going into space. He spends his days assisting and training people in aircraft flights that simulate a microgravity environmentâ€”effectively heâ€™s a flight attendant teaching people how to flyâ€”and he is one of only nine people on the planet qualified to do this.
Tim has performed over 150 such flights, each with multiple parabolasâ€”where the craft goes up and down at a steep angles to create a â€œweightlessâ€ free-fall environment insideâ€”equating to over 24 hours of his life that Tim has spent unencumbered by the Earthly bonds of gravity. This has led to Timâ€™s unique ability to, as he puts it,Â â€œexecute some fairly bad-ass flips in any axis [x, y, and z].â€
In addition to being an evangelist and trainer for manned space travel, though, Tim is also a husband and recent father. Judging by his recent Twitter posts, he spends a lot of time with his family going betweenÂ Kennedy Space Center and Disney Worldâ€”a true geek dadâ€™s paradise!
I recently chatted with Tim about his job, his work advocating for manned space travel, and his own future in space.