While SpaceX and Virgin Galactic seem to get all the headlines, World View, a luxury flight capsule, is expected to send tourists up into the Earth’s atmosphere on five-hour tours starting in an estimated 4 years time.
World View, under direction from Paragon Space Development Corporation in Arizona, plans to send people 100,000 feet above the earth’s surface in a capsule powered by a large balloon, which can drift into orbit for hours at a time.
The capsule features four circular windows and holds six passengers plus two crew members.
It is hard to image a front row seat in outer space but it is coming sooner rather than later.
Nigel Goode, director of Priestmangoode, says, “You’re seeing the curvature of earth, the blackness of space. It’s such a life-changing experience. This is what it’s all about.”
The interior design of the capsule is still ongoing, but expect to see a lot of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials used in order to minimize weight and fuel cost.
The cost of enjoying a trip to space by way of a World View is still up in the air, but it is clear that multiple capsules will be developed for both tourism and space research.