Interested in seeing our home planet from the edge of space but can’t spare the $250,000 that a trip with Virgin Galactic commands? Fret not, as a mere $75,000 is all you’ll need to scrape together for a ride from World View Enterprises.
The tour, which will be offered to the public in 2016, will take place inside a large capsule propelled by a stratospheric balloon. The aircraft will lift eight people (two crew and six passengers) roughly 23 miles above the Earth’s surface for a two-hour sailing-like experience.
That’s just shy of the altitude that Australian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped from as part of the Red Bull Stratos project in 2012 and well short of the more than 65 miles that Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo will top out at. Even still, however, voyagers will be greeted with a breathtaking view of our planet and even get to watch the sun rise above the curvature of Earth.
The Arizona-based company recently completed a successful high-altitude test flight of a 10 percent scale model of the craft they plan to use. The test vehicle flew to an altitude of 120,000 feet before descending to 50,000 feet and gliding back to solid ground via parafoil.
The company said they’ve already sold a few flights but expect business to pick up as they transition from concept to actual flight hardware.
If money wasn’t a concern, would you be interested in taking a flight to the edge of space or would you be too afraid to leave the ground?