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Balloon Trips to the Stratosphere to Begin in 2024

“Space” Tourism Without the Rocketry

As the newest iteration of the space race heats up between competing high-altitude tourism companies, the unorthodox World View is offering tickets to the stratosphere in a balloon. Other “space” tourism companies rely on rockets for their ascent, like Blue Origin’s New Shepard, or the carrier-launched SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic. World View believes passengers want more time in the air, and designed the best “room with a view” one could ask for. 

After completing more than 100 unmanned flights for research and commercial customers, the Tuscon company intends to offer flights up to 100,000 feet from seven tourist destinations across the globe. Featuring takeoff locations in the Grand Canyon, the Serengeti, Amazonia, The Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and a Norwegian spot perfect for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Eight passengers join two crew members in a pressurized space capsule suspended by a zero-pressure stratospheric balloon. Flights will last far longer than similar voyages, as liftoff takes place in the calm, early morning winds and returns approximately 12 hours later. The trip aboard is as comfortable as possible, with meal service, custom seating, and a wide, panoramic view inside the proprietary Explorer capsule. Equipped with plentiful creature comforts, with a concierge, dining and bar, data connection, earth-view cameras and star-view telescopes, viewing screens, climate control and enough walking space to keep passengers happy as they are brought skyward by the stadium-sized balloon above. 

Company press indicates an interest in providing the “Overview Effect”, the concept that humanity will be able to markedly improve the future of Earth with a glimpse of the greater globe. Their dedication to sustainability touches upon each facet of their operations, reusing their capsules and balloons after each flight. The first commercial flight is expected in 2024, with the initial launch reserved for the non-profit Space for Humanity, an organization meant to expand the overview effect to leaders around the world. Pricing is, in comparison to the seemingly ever-increasing prices from its competition, relatively modest at $50,000 per seat with available financing. Seat reservations are available for a $500 deposit. 



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