New Space Tourism Ventures!: Balloon rides to the edge of space…

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Test Equipment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Two new space-tourism ventures want to sell you a ticket to the stars. But neither one would use a rocket. Both would use balloons.

Starting in 2016, World View Enterprises of Arizona hopes to send six passengers at a time up 19 miles to the edge of space, aboard helium-filled balloons. Each passenger would pay $75,000, company spokesperson Deanna Wilke tells ABC News.

The six passengers (plus two pilots) would occupy a 4-ton capsule roomy enough for them to stand up, move around and enjoy the view. There would be food service and a restroom. Because the capsule would be pressurized, says Wilke, there would be no need for flight suits or oxygen masks.

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The leisurely trip upward will take about two hours, reaching a maximum altitude of 18 miles (30km). That’s high enough to see the pitch black of space and the curvature of the Earth. This is still far short of the altitude Virgin Galactic is expected to hit with SpaceShipTwo. That craft is currently making test flights around 68 miles up (110km). Passengers on the World View Enterprises also won’t earn their semi-official astronaut wings — space is generally accepted to begin at an altitude of 62 miles.

 

Sources: ABC News & Geek.com

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