A new idea for space tourism: Balloon over rocket

October 22nd, 2013 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
This artist's rendering provided by World View Enterprises on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 shows their design for a capsule lifted by a high-altitude balloon up 19 miles into the air for tourists. Company CEO Jane Poynter said people would pay $75,000 to spend a couple hours looking down at the curve of the Earth. (AP Photo/World View Enterprises)


This artist's rendering provided by World View Enterprises on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 shows their design for a capsule lifted by a high-altitude balloon up 19 miles into the air for tourists. Company CEO Jane Poynter said people would pay $75,000 to spend a couple hours looking down at the curve of the Earth. (AP Photo/World View Enterprises)

The latest space tourism venture depends more on hot air than rocket science.

World View Enterprises announced plans Tuesday to send people up 19 miles in a capsule, lifted by a high-altitude balloon. Company CEO Jane Poynter said the price for spending a couple of hours looking down at the curve of the Earth will be $75,000.

But it's not quite space. Space starts at 62 miles.

Still, the plan requires approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial space. She said it uses existing technology and the first launch could be as early as the end of 2016.

The same team last February proposed a private venture to send a to Mars in 2018.

This artist's rendering provided by World View Enterprises on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 shows their design for a capsule lifted by a high-altitude balloon up 19 miles into the air for tourists. Company CEO Jane Poynter said people would pay $75,000 to spend a couple hours looking down at the curve of the Earth. (AP Photo/World View Enterprises)

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"A new idea for space tourism: Balloon over rocket." October 22nd, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-10-idea-space-tourism-balloon-rocket.html