Balloon Rides to Near-Space Are Real and Cost $75k a Seat
What’s the new cool? Balloon rides to near-space are a must do if you are into travel.
Enough with traveling the world using cars, boats and whatever, they are too mainstream now that we have the possibility to travel into space.
Yes, there are the rocket-powered sub-orbital flights provided by Virgin Galactic, but the high-altitude ballooning because the easiest way of giving tourists the ultimate travel experience.
The ‘ballooning’ is already a tried and tested technology, and now has some high-profile fans within the space community.
The company called World View Enterprises promises you will have the best travel experience.
How it works?
They plan to offer suborbital spaceflight in a capsule lifted by balloon to 18.6 miles (30 km), and then will glide back to Earth.
However, do not expect to feel like a real life astronaut, because outer space is generally considered to begin at an altitude of 62 miles (100 km), but it will give you spectacular views of the blackness of space and the curvature of our planet.
After arriving at the launch site, six passengers and two crew members would climb aboard the fully-pressurized Winnebago-sized capsule, which contains a bathroom and a refreshment bar.
The capsule offers 360-degree views and internet access, so you can share photos in real-time.
What kind of capsule?
A giant helium-filled polyethylene balloon will keep the cabin afloat. As the gas expands and decreases in density, the capsule will float into the air until it is fully inflated.
Once the helium completely fills the balloon, the package stops ascending as it reaches its target altitude at about 100,000 feet. To put this into perspective, commercial jets fly at about 45,000 feet, and U2 spy planes speed at around 75,000 feet.
Passengers on World View balloon flights will ride inside a capsule designed by Paragon Space Development Corp.
How much it will take?
This ascent will take about 90 minutes.
World View officials say:
“Seeing the Earth hanging in the ink-black void of space will help people realize our connection to our home planet and to the universe around us, and will surely offer a transformative experience to our customers,” World View CEO Jane Poynter said in a statement.
“It is also our goal to open up a whole new realm for exercising human curiosity, scientific research and education,” she added. “We look forward to pioneering this new, accessible and affordable spaceflight regime, and to sharing the breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experience with people from around the globe.”
Their balloon ride will let customers glide for about two hours at maximum altitude.
The same company is also aiding two private Mars efforts such as the Inspiration Mars mission to send two astronauts on a Red Planet flyby in 2018 and Mars One, a project that aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony.
Paragon has already begun testing capsule components and will soon start demonstrating the flight capabilities of the entire system, World View officials said.
Are you ready to have a near-space experience? Would you pay $75,000 for it?