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Science: 

Take a tour of Space in a balloon

space-balloon-2

No longer do you have to daydream about the prospect of floating into space hanging off a helium balloon. Thanks to the good folks down in Arizona-based World View Enterprises (WVE), space tourism, via said balloon, is officially on the horizon.

The company successfully completed its first test flight of a space tourism balloon that plans to lift six (no doubt wealthy, at $75,000 per person) passengers through the Earth’s atmosphere up to a life-changing altitude of 20 miles for the breath-taking view from the stratosphere.

Last year, WVE obtained the necessary FAA approval to carry out its five-hour flight plan and believes that it’s on track to fly its first passenger in just two years time.

Despite its hefty price tag, US$75,000 represents over a fifty per-cent decrease compared to Virgin Galactic’s rocket trip, which sets passengers back a whopping US$200,000.

How does it work?

If you witnessed Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive just two years ago, you’ll have some idea as to how WVE plan to go about making this once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity happen.

Passengers will be able to walk around in a capsule that will be lifted above the troposphere with the aid of a balloon containing 400,000 cubic meters of helium. Once the capsule reaches above 100,000 feet, passengers will have the luxury of floating around for around two hours, soaking up the beautiful scenes of the Earth’s curvature, before descending to 50,000 feet where the balloon separates from the capsule, leaving a parafoil to land it safely.

Visit the official site for continued updates on the progress at World View Enterprises.

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