Commercial Flights to Outer Space Will be Possible by 2017

Commercial Flights to Outer Space Will be Possible by 2017

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut, just to see the Earth from outer space? Well, your dream may come true sooner than you expected.

Space tourism company World View has developed a high altitude balloon system, capable to lift passengers to an altitude of 100,000 feet.

The system consists of a helium-filled balloon, the size of a football stadium attached to a 9,000 lb. capsule with plenty of space to fit six passengers or “voyagers”, two crew members, a bar, and a toilet. The compartment also features big windows, and internet access, to share the experience with the rest of us here on Earth.

The capsule will rise high enough to let passengers see the atmosphere’s “Thin Blue Line”, the curvature of the Earth, and the sun rising over our planet, beautifully surrounded by black sky. All of this without oxygen masks, space suits, or training.

Recent tests have demonstrated the viability of this technology. On October 24th, the company launched a 10% scale model capsule in Arizona, with successful results. World View tweeted about it:

The company plans to run full-scale tests next year.

In theory, the balloons can be launched from anywhere in the world, under favorable weather conditions. The trip will take a total of four to six hours: 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the stratosphere, and up to two hours of enjoyment inside the capsule. Not too bad for the $75,000 ticket.

Although the list of people who have booked flights has not been disclosed, World View stated that entire families from all over the world have already made reservations.

The Arizona-based company expects to have this technology available to tourists, researchers, and private companies by 2017.

Image Credit: World View Experience

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