Forget Virgin Galactic, Take A Balloon To Space

World View Enterprises of Tucson, Arizona has claimed their balloon tests have be successfully completed, in what could be come the first high-altitude balloon capsule being developed for tourists to travel around 20 miles above the Earth’s surface. The first tests have given the company the world record for the highest parafoil flight, lifting their payload to a staggering 120,000 feet. The system used is similar to the one used by Felix Baumgartner to make his record breaking sky dive back in 2012.

The last test was the first to test all the components of the system together, but only used a balloon one third of the size of the passenger model they intend to develop. The flights are not as high as Virgin Galactic, which can reach some 60+ miles, taking you into actual space, but at 20 miles up your still going to get a great view of the curve of the earth and the black of space that will be unlike anything else before it, unless of course you were on Galactic the week before.

The big advantage to World View is that their ticket price is a much more affordable $75,000 per person, almost £200k cheaper than a ticket on the Galactic flights. Flights on the balloon will also be a much more relaxed affair, taking a few hours to descend from the maximum height and featuring a capsule that passengers can walk around in.

Thank you Guardian for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TMCnet.


Man Breaks World Record By Building 50ft Optimus Prime From Balloons

While there are people in this world intent on breaking the record for the 100m sprint, highest sky dive, fastest time cycling across Europe and many other great achievements, John Reid was blowing up balloons. The New York based artist and magician wanted to break the world record for the biggest thing made out of balloons.

The task took John a staggering 42 hours, using 4302 balloons and the end result for his efforts was not only a new world record, but also a 50ft tall balloon rendition of Optimus Prime. He created the giant Autobot balloon display at the 2014 Salk Lake Comic Con in Utah.

“I hope that somebody else decides to try to take this art a little further and crush me. Trounce me. Wipe the floor with me.” said John.

Given the fun nickname of Poptimus Prime, the creation proved a big attraction and official were on hand to declare it the largest balloon sculpture ever made by a single person. I’m not sure why he set about breaking this record, but it’s entertaining none the less.

Thank you Metro for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Metro.

World View Enterprises To Sell $75000 Balloon Rides To Near-Space

Companies offering trips to space are nothing new, but where companies like Virgin Galactic want to use a more familiar style of flying into space in a craft with wings, engines etc, World View wants to take a more relaxed route.

For $75,000 per person, the company hopes to take people up in a balloon like no other. The Tuscon based startup is hoping to use a helium balloon that will take customers to nearly 100,000 feet, which is around 10x more than the average balloon flight, although most only go to around 3000 feet!

100,000 feet really is the edge of space, so much so that the Federal Aviation Administration have declared their capsules as “space vehicles.” This classification means they have to reach a much tougher set of guidelines than typical aircraft.

The craft will hold eight people inside its pressurized capsule as it makes its 1.5 hour ascent to 100,000 feet, then it would stay there for around two hours and then back to earth to complete their 4 hour round trip. At this hight the customers would be able to see the black of space around them as well as the full curvature of the earth, awesome!

The company hopes to take of the skies in just three years.

Thank you Natmonitor for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of World View.