Balloon Capsule Ride to the Edge of Earth
Lance Bass, your dreams of space travel may be alive yet. Presuming you'd be willing to settle for a hot air balloon ride at the edge of the earth instead of an actual interstellar sojourn. Arizona-based aerospace firm World View seeks to advance the commercial space travel industry with an Around the World in Eighty Days-style twist: a luxury passenger capsule launched 20 miles into the sky--just 70 miles shy of official outer space--by balloon.
Slated for its inaugural liftoff in 2016, World View brings the concept of going where few men have gone before to every average, untrained Joe and Jane...in possession of $75,000 to back up their sightseeing dream. The travel capsule, which can tote up to 8 passengers, spends the first 1-1/2 of its 4-hour round-trip tour on the balloon ascent. Once cruising altitude is reached, the balloon releases its attached capsule/human contents for another 2 hours' worth of ridiculously high view intakes--and free-falling--before the capsule returns from the rim of space to more recognizable airplane heights on earth.
By the way, World View promises this release-and-wave-goodbye business with the balloon will not equate to a death drop. Capsules are fitted with an overlying parafoil that reacts as the air thickens during descent, and allows passengers to float smoothly back to terrestrial earth, where they will land on skids.
All experiences considered, World View's will certainly be a heretofore unimaginable and surreal one. And $75 grand...it's not cheap, but all things considered, it's not so bad either. Certainly not if you're even moderately rich, have been saving pennies your entire life for an unparalleled opportunity, or are an expert money launderer anyway.
They say dream big. World View listened. And now the company is giving you the opportunity to do the same.
Muchas danke to Vicespy.