If you are dreaming to travel to the edge of space one day, well here’s some great news – you can do so with World View, a stratospheric ballooning company, for $50,000. The company’s first commercial flight will begin in 2024 with Grand Canyon National Park as its first spaceport.
World View claims its space tourism experience is the most affordable, longest duration and most accessible space experience on Earth. The journey begins at World View’s spaceports located across the world – Grand Canyon in the United States; Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia; the Serengeti in Kenya; an Aurora Borealis spot in Norway; Amazonia in Brazil; the Giza Pyramids in Egypt; and the Great Wall of China in Mongolia.
Ryan Hartman, World View president and CEO, told Travel + Leisure that there are some really great space tourism companies that are building some amazing experiences to take their customers into space. “We celebrate their accomplishments in pushing the space tourism industry forward,” he said. “We’ve opted to build a different type of space tourism experience, one that will allow more humans to view the curvature of Earth, the darkness of space, and the fragility of our planet. In order to increase humanity’s access to space tourism, we felt it was important to price our experience to be more affordable to more people.”
Hartman highlighted that World View wants to make sure that the experience is accessible for people of all physical abilities. “We have designed the experience to feature a very gentle ascent and descent that might be comparable or even gentler than a takeoff and landing of a commercial airplane. In addition to increasing affordability and accessibility, we also want to maximize the value of the experience. This comes in two forms – time and place. From a time perspective, we want to make sure you have as much time as possible at apogee to truly appreciate this awe-inspiring vantage point. You’ll spend over six hours hovering 100,000 feet above Earth, giving you ample time to rediscover the beauty and fragility of our planet.”
Rachel Lyons, executive director, Space for Humanity, said they are excited about securing World View’s first commercial capsule. “Our mission is to expand access to space to all and in doing so, support the transformation of our world’s most ambitious leaders so they can use their experience in space to create positive change here on Earth.”
The idea is for flights to take off from premium locations with eight passengers and two crew members onboard, up to 100,000 feet altitude – which is about four times higher than a standard commercial airplane flight, and nearly 23 miles into the stratosphere.