Have you ever wanted to take a balloon ride into outer space? You might just be getting your opportunity…in Tucson.
World View—the commercial balloon spaceflight company—just made the announcement that the Arizona city will become the hub of their global headquarters, where they will conduct launches from a new spaceport.
Starting later this year, the brand will move in to the new campus, located just adjacent to Spaceport Tucson. The hub will include a Balloon Manufacturing Facility, where it will produce the balloons that will carry its spacecraft and other payloads up to 140,000 feet above Earth; World View’s flight operations control center; engineering and testing facilities; and a launch observation balcony.
What does this mean for YOU though? A lot, as it happens. Regular residents can enjoy the high-altitude balloon experiences, where six guests at a time will ride in a sealed capsule (complete with Wi-Fi and a bar, of course) which will sail around the stratosphere for two hours.
It works like this: a pressurized capsule holding said guests and two crew members will ride in a helium ballon, which will expand in pressure until it peaks at 100,000 feet. On the descent, the pilot eventually detaches the balloon and navigates the capsule back down to Earth using a ParaWing.
Tickets are currently retailing for $75,000 apiece for rides starting in 2017 or 2018.
Mind you, it won’t be an easy process…but does anything truly great in life come easy? Customers will need go through a certification process by the FAA.