While still in its infancy, space tourism begins to diversify its offer. World View, an Arizona based company promises the most beautiful view that an ordinary person can dream of: a balloon, a capsule and the ascent to an altitude of 30 km – enough to see the curvature of the Earth and the sunrise as not many have the opportunity to see.
If you’ve watched Felix Baumgartner’s jump in 2012, you now have a general idea about how the Earth looks like in the stratosphere. World View Company, a subsidiary of Paragon Space Development in Arizona, United States, aims to provide a similar experience to tourists interested in adventures outside the atmosphere.
The ascension to the point of maximum of 30.000 meters is made in a pressurized capsule, specially designed for tourism. Initially, six passengers and two pilots will be in the vehicle, which will be lifted by a helium balloon. At that altitude, tourists will experiment the sensation of weightlessness for a few minutes and will have the chance to see the curvature of the home planet as only astronauts or brave men like Felix Baumgartner have the chance. Returning to Earth will be made with a parachute that will ensure a safe landing.
By comparison, World View will not reach the same distance as the Austrian did, being about 9 km below the limit reached by Baumgartner. At the edge of space, the capsule will rise half the altitude promised by the adventure aboard SpaceShip Two, a suborbital aircraft owned by Virgin Galactic.
The price varies, as well. Unlike the $250,000, the cost of a trip aboard the Virgin plane, the World View adventure will cost only $75,000. The project is still in beta phase and the company aims to make the first test flight by the end of the year, followed by the official opening in within three years.