Space tourism is definitely becoming viable and entrepreneurs are coming up with newer ideas and proposals to offer opportunities to view the earth from space. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is the best known name in the field as any of Mr. Branson’s ventures receives a lot of publicity. A new Arizona based company World View is now offering an extremely high altitude vacation on board a spacious gondola while watching the curvature of the earth. It is not using any suborbital rocket to take you to a height of 100,000 feet but instead uses a balloon to lift the gondola. The stunning view of the earth can be enjoyed by the guests for several hours.
The Guests Can Spend Several Hours at 100,000 Feet
Jane Poynter, CEO of World View, believes that the experience of seeing the Earth hanging in space will strengthen our connection to our home planet and the universe around it. It will also open up a whole new realm for exercising human curiosity, scientific research and education. The experience being offered by World View compares very well with the 360,000 feet sub orbital ride being offered by Virgin Galactic which is expected to last only a few minutes at its peak. In the World View gondola guests can spend several hours at 100,000 feet. Its only drawback is that it does not offer the experience of weightlessness that is being touted as the USP of Virgin Galactic.
The First Commercial Flight By World View is Expected in 2016
World View is not the only company planning this high altitude balloon flights. Zero2infinity is also gearing up to offer Earth views from a height of 120,000 feet. They have even tested a scale version of its system recently. World View is also expected to test its flight soon. However the commercial launch of the service is not expected before 2016. In the meantime World View has received a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration certifying that the company’s six passenger, two pilot gondola will qualify as a space vehicle. A trip to 100,000 feet above the Earth and back in World View gondola will cost the passengers $75,000.