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Space is not a far-fetched holiday destination anymore. “The journey is just beginning,” says the World View En...
Space is not a far-fetched holiday destination anymore. “The journey is just beginning,” says the World View Enterprises team, after the successful completion of a balloon test to the edge of our atmosphere. “Voyagers” (the tourists) can experience the “real Earth,” by looking at its curves against the blackness of space, as early as 2016.
World View Enterprises, an Arizona-based company, has announced that the first flight test of a high-altitude balloon and capsule went well. The balloon flight was launched last week from Roswell, New Mexico. The company's CEO, Jane Poynter, said this parachute-like airfoil flight broke the highest world record of this kind of flight, lifting a load to 36,576 metres (120,000 feet).
World View Enterprises has used the same system Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner used in his space jump. The daredevil, who literally fell to Earth from 24 miles up, launched his flight from the same place, Roswell airport. The balloon will lift a capsule that can carry six people, and two crew members. When the capsule reaches 32 kilometers (20 miles) up, the voyagers will float there for nearly two hours, before drifting back to Earth.
World View is still unsure where to base its flights in the future, although it's been speculated that Spaceport America in New Mexico is one of the planned locations.
There are other companies that are in full swing with space tourism. Virgin Galactic, for instance, has had plans to launch its $200,000 per person space flights for a few years now. Even though it has not yet been disclosed when the first flight will happen for Virgin Galactic, the World View CEO claims space tourism is not a race, as both companies offer completely different experiences. The 5-hour World View venture will cost tourists $75,000 per person.