Feeds

$75k burning a hole in your pocket? Spaff it on a BALLOON ride in SPACE

Space tourists get the option of a gentle suborbital float

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

For any wannabe space tourists who reckon the price of a rocket ride is a bit steep, Paragon Space Development has the solution, a balloon ride into near space.

World View's balloon in space

World View, an offshoot of Paragon, plans to offer a balloon-launched trip to an altitude of around 30km in a "luxuriously appointed space-qualified capsule". At that height, well below suborbital rocket trips with the likes of Virgin Galactic that are expected to reach around 110km, there won't be much experience of what it's like in space, but there will be a pretty good view.

"Passengers will be among the few to have seen the curvature of the Earth with their own eyes," the company said. "They will be able to gaze at the astounding views, the blackness of space, the brilliance of stars and the thin veil of atmosphere enveloping our planet – scenes previously witnessed exclusively by astronauts."

For the princely sum of $75,000, nearly a quarter of the price of a jaunt with Virgin Galactic, tourists will get two hours to hang in space from the bottom of a massive helium-filled balloon before drifting back to Earth, if all the testing goes to plan.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given World View the go-ahead on the project, but the company will still need to test the idea before they start booking passengers. Parent firm Paragon has been around for about 20 years and has worked with NASA and SpaceX on rocket and space technologies. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.