'Space Tourism, Now a Luxury' [Watch Video]
By Afza Fathima | July 4, 2014 10:33 AM EST
A Tucson-based start-up is planning to use a helium balloon to take passengers on a luxury space tour. The balloon will carry passengers in a pressurized capsule to a height of about 100,000 feet. The flight is called "World View."
World View will take passengers on a luxury space tour in a hot air balloon.
The passengers will travel in the sky about one and a half hours, then spend two hours high above admiring the world. A free fall will begin once the two hours are over where the capsule will be disconnected from the balloon. The capsule will glide on the surface with a parafoil above the capsule which will be more effective in thick air.
The luxury tour costs $75,000, a price suitable for the high-end customers. A capsule can accomodate eight passengers. World View will hopefully begin its tours in three years.
Jane Poynter, co-founder of Paragon Space Development, said, "The sky's going to be completely black. You'll be able to see the curvature of the Earth."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced it will not address the more difficult question whether Paragon's proposed altitude constitutes outer space, but the capsule will be treated as a space vehicle.
The World View team made a statement saying the company would offer a transformative human experience and it would be a "spectacular human flight into nearspace, unlike any other suborbital spaceflight experience being offered today, allowing passengers to remain aloft for hours at a comparably affordable price."
"In essence, we're a spacecraft. In fact, we're a spacecraft. Three years ago or so, it became clear that there's a space tourism industry. It seems to be bigger than Branson's personality," Paragon Co-founder Taber MacCallum said.
Poynter and MacCallum, in the early 1990s, were "bionauts." They were sealed inside a massive structure in the Arizona desert called Biosphere II and Paragon, their company, had signed contracts with NASA to provide them with technology for life-support.
Inspiration Mars, a 500-day mission that will send two astronauts to Mars, in five years' time when there is a rare alignment of the planets, is a mission that Paragon is working on alongside billionaire Dennis Tito.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Social Media Conspiracy Fires Up Due To Ancient Engraving On Mars [Watch Video]
- Aussies Love Robots More Than The Japanese Do
- Yuka, A Woolly Mammoth, Is Just 39,000 Years Young, And Wears A Reddish Coat
- Army Of Moonwalkers May Soon Be Ready As Michael Jackson Reportedly Cloned Himself Before Death
- Nanoplug Invisible Hearing Aid Comes With High-Tech Features And Nano-Battery That Recharges Instantaneously
- Marvel Announces Release Dates Of 11 Upcoming Movies From 2015 To 2019
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Xiaomi Becomes World’s Third Largest Smartphone Manufacturer By Dethroning Huawei
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Nexus 6, 9 Buyers on November Release Will Enjoy These 3 Killer Lollipop 5.0 Features First
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles