World View assures that its “stratospheric tourism” will begin in 2024: it will be in reusable capsules and will last up to 8 hours
When we think of space tourism, which is already a fact, many still come to mind the impressive images of the Felix Baumgartner jump at 39,068 meters thinking about what those people will be able to see from their window. From a few kilometers less, it should already give to have views (of infarction) similar to those of Felix, although the proposal of World View it is something different.
The company proposes an approach that reminds us of Space Perspective: fly to the stratosphere in a balloon. Not surprisingly, the companies share founders and World Wide already has experience in stratospheric balloons, although for communications and without a crew.
More hours of travel, more sky and land tourism options
According to the company’s website, each ascent will take place in the morning (when the wind allows it) and the system, autonomously, will control the ascent until 30,000 meters (below the extent of Blue Origin travel, so perhaps tourism will not be strictly so “spatial”). The capsule will be pressurized and will not require a special suit for travel, even animals are allowed.
One of the differences from the Space Perspective precedent is that there will be multiple launch points and they will last a little longer, as planned. World View’s proposal is that passengers can take a tour by viewing the six planned take-off points: the Amazon, the pyramids of Egypt, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, the Serengeti or, if you’re lucky, some Northern Lights in Norway, starting with Arizona on the first flight already planned.
We see, therefore, that the expectations of the views and satisfaction of its customers are almost at the level of what the capsule should reach. They explain that the stay at the highest point will last between 6 and 8 hours and that the descent from 30,000 meters will take about 60 minutes. A height from which it should already give, according to the company, to see the curvature of the planet (which visually limits its border with respect to outer space).
For this, the capsule will have a control panel from which passengers can use the cameras and telescopes on board to zoom in on what they fly over. In addition to the eight passengers / tourists, two employees (the tour guide and one maintenance) will be in the capsule.
Another peculiarity is the fact that the ascent will be done with a giant balloon of 481,400 cubic meters, resorting to a large parachute to assist in the descent. The interiors of the capsule promise to be “luxury” and in addition to the basic services such as the toilet, there will also be a cocktail service.
Of these parts, both the capsule and the parachute will be reusable, but not the balloon. They explain in Space that Ryan Hartmann, CEO of World Wide, explained that the balloons will be recycled in “products that benefit the communities near the launch sites.” Taking into account that these sites are extremely important natural reserves, such as the Amazon, it will be necessary to see what this aid consists of and if it compensates for the invasion that the launch site will entail, even if there is no rocket.
The price? Here at least we are not talking about millions of dollars as in the case of Bezos’s New Shepard, but it is not something comparable, for example, to a transoceanic flight. Seats start from $ 50,000, which they hope is a claim given that “their cousin” Space Perspective sells them for $ 125,000 (which, by the way, also has its first flight sold). You have to pay $ 500 to make a reservation, which are non-refundable if the user regrets, by the way.
The date: the year 2024. The first flight is already occupied for the organization Space For Humanity, a non-profit organization that, among other things, runs programs to prepare citizens to be astronauts and that bought the tickets, according to what they say. So maybe you can try it for the next one, if everything goes as they say (both in this case and in Space Perspective).
Images | World view