Balloon Ride into Space: Twenty Miles from Earth
By Nishi Jain On 24 Oct, 2013 At 04:05 PM | Categorized As Far-Out, International, Travel Tech | With 0 Comments

And I fall into nothing
Forever jaded
And I hold onto nothingness
Dissolving my senses

                                                          —Into Eternity

Get ready for a truly out of the world experience. World View, an Arizona-based space tourism company, will soon be offering a balloon ride to the stratosphere. At more than 19 miles from Earth, passengers would witness breathtaking views afforded only to astronauts till now.

The helium balloon, the parachute, and you

The company, a branch of Paragon Space Development Corp., plans to get this super awesome balloon-ride ready for passengers in the next three years, and the first test flight might happen this very year! Commenting on this latest buzz in space tourism, Paragon co-founder and Chief Executive Taber MacCallum said something that will surely restore your faith in humanity:

“Virgin Galactic and others have shown that the luxury market has shifted from high-end goods to high-end experiences.”

How It Will Happen

The capsule which will accommodate passengers

Six passengers and two pilots will be lifted off the face of the earth in a pressurized capsule attached to a huge (40 million cubic-foot, to be precise) helium balloon and a steerable parafoil (which is basically a fancy kind of a parachute). In about two hours, the balloon will reach its peak height, and bam! you are on the top of the world.

The Good News

Ticket: The ride has been priced at $75,000 per person, which is one third of what Richard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo will be charging which is a whopping $250,000.

Duration: Also, this balloon will linger in space for a long time i.e. 2 hours affording stunning views to passengers.

Space tourism is surely getting hotter (and affordable) with each passing day. Soon you and I will be up there dining in the stars!

The Risks?

  1. At the altitude this balloon will reach, water and blood can boil and a person can well…die. But fear not, as chances of that happening are minimal since you’d be enclosed in a protected capsule. The balloon will have to meet all the requirements that a spacecraft orbiting the earth has to pass. In short, you are safe.
  2. You might invite the jealousy of your high-heeled acquaintances (which is actually your intention), and probably the attention of the income tax department (which should be fine if you pay your taxes honestly). Apart from these, no other risk.


Nishi Jain

About - Nishi Jain spent some precious years of her life studying English literature, editing novels, and writing newspaper articles. Then one day, as she was sitting under a tree with no branches, a rotten pancake fell on her head from the window above and she had her Newtonian moment. From then on, all she does is eat pancakes, write, and profess fake love to pastry chefs.

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