Imagine leaving Earth and ascending into the twinkling atmosphere of outer space. This wouldn’t be a jarring rush into the darkness, however. This would be a peaceful ascent into the unknown via a highly specialized space balloon. The price? Just $50,000 for the once in a lifetime experience. So, are you in?
According to Yahoo! News, a space tourism company plans to give you this opportunity by 2023. The company World View is currently working on a prototype of a rocket-less space shuttle that will take guests into the stratosphere. There you’ll be able to witness the beautiful curvature of the earth, watch animal migrations and catch the aurora borealis like you’ve never seen before.
So, here’s the concept. The ballon-like capsules will launch from specific areas of the planet. Think of meeting in the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef. From there, guests of up to eight people will sit in a circular aircraft and slowly ascend at 10 to 12 miles per hour.
It’s kind of like a luxury flight complete with lay-back seats, a bar, a restroom and attendants. World View plans to operate the space capsules about 100 days each year from various points in order to witness small wonders of the world. The idea is to connect people with space travel and give them a rare glimpse of the earth’s surface.
Luxury Space Flight in Style
While $50,000 seems like a hefty price for the 6 to 12 hour ride, the competitive amount is actually far less than Virgin Galactic’s $250,000 for a space seat. As space tourism grows, each company will have to get competitive.
The World View Explorer, as it will be known, will take guests 100,000 feet into the air, breaking through the atmosphere. The company currently has a spaceport in Tuscon, Arizona where it launches its stratospheric balloons. However, World View will launch guests out of the Grand Canyon, in a spaceport that hasn’t been built yet.
Additionally, the company is able to offer such an ‘affordable’ price because of its use of natural resources to power the vessel. It will be unmanned, with set destination points and land with the help of parasails.
Viewers will also be equipped with wifi for their journey, ensuring they can FaceTime or call family members during their flight.
World View Launch Sites
The company said it will launch into the stratosphere globally. They’ll do this from various points of the world which will give the best view. This includes their “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Stratospheric Edition” list. Spaceports will be located at the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, the Serengeti and the Amazon Rain Forest.
“It has to be something of wonder, it has to be something where people can connect to the Earth,” World View President and CEO Ryan Hartman said, via Insider.
The whole flight will be based on customer experience, Hartman said. His hope is to ensure people appreciate the earth and will want to protect it once they see how glorious it is from another angle.
While the experience sounds extremely liberating, the company didn’t address safety measure in place. However, World View does intend to have a pilot on board to make sure everything goes accordingly. Even better? In case you can’t shell out a cool fifty thousand, there are financing plans available. So you decide. Buy the new Ford F-250 or travel into space? Presale tickets will be available as early as October 4, the company said.