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  World View to offer high-altitude balloon rides

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Author Topic:   World View to offer high-altitude balloon rides
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28278
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-22-2013 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SPACE.com reports that for $75,000, a new company called World View Enterprises will loft you 19 miles (30 kilometers) up into Earth's atmosphere using a high-altitude balloon.
While the gentle ride won't earn passengers their astronaut wings — outer space is generally considered to begin at an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) — it will afford spectacular views of the blackness of space and the curvature of our planet, World View officials say.

"Seeing the Earth hanging in the ink-black void of space will help people realize our connection to our home planet and to the universe around us, and will surely offer a transformative experience to our customers," World View CEO Jane Poynter said in a statement.

World View's head scientist is former NASA science chief Alan Stern, who also leads the agency's New Horizons mission to Pluto.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently concluded that World View's spacecraft and operations fall under the jurisdiction of the office of Commercial Space Flight, company officials said.

See here for discussion of World View Enterprise's high-altitude balloon flights.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28278
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-08-2013 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
World View Enterprises release
NASA astronaut Mark Kelly named Director of Flight Crew Operations for World View Enterprises' human flights to the edge of space

World View Enterprises, Inc. (World View) has announced that former astronaut Mark Kelly will be Director of Flight Crew Operations. A retired U.S. Navy test pilot and Space Shuttle Commander, Kelly will play a central role in the start-up commercial space business, which began taking reservations today for its accessible, affordable trips to the edge of space via high-altitude balloon.

During his career in the U.S. Navy, Kelly accumulated 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft with 375 aircraft carrier landings. He flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He later joined NASA's astronaut corps, where he piloted two Space Shuttle flights and commanded two others, including Endeavour on its final mission.

"Having served 25 years as an aviator and astronaut, Mark possesses the prowess and acumen needed to pioneer this exciting new regime of flight at the edge of space," said Jane Poynter, CEO of World View. "As Director of Flight Crew Operations, he will provide the necessary technical expertise to our development program, as well as manage World View's one-of-a-kind flights and top-notch flight crew."

World View will provide a spectacular, nearspace human flight experience unlike any other suborbital flight experience being offered today. Passengers, dubbed "Voyagers," will board a luxuriously appointed, space-qualified capsule that will be gently lifted by a high-altitude balloon to 100,000 feet. There, they will float in the edge of space for approximately two hours, absorbing breathtaking views of the planet, the blackness of space and the stars, before gliding back to Earth.

"For decades, only select, highly trained individuals have been able to leave the boundaries of Earth and experience space travel," Kelly said. "Now, World View is offering private individuals the opportunity to gain a new perspective of the world we live in. I am thrilled to be part of this project and look forward to the start of operations."

Component testing of the World View capsule is currently underway. Subscale testing will begin early next year, demonstrating the flight characteristics of the World View system, compliance with regulatory standards and the overall integrity of the design.

The company's nearspace flight operations are expected to begin in late 2016 at $75,000 per ticket. For information on becoming a World View Voyager visit WorldViewExperience.com.

Beyond space travel capabilities, World View presents significant research and education opportunities. On board the capsule in a shirtsleeves environment, researchers and educators can conduct human-tended and non-tended activities at 1/600th the cost of a ride to the International Space Station. To support these initiatives, World View has created a Research and Education Advisory Committee consisting of a professor of space technology, senior scientists, solar physicist and world experts in high-altitude ballooning and atmospheric research.

See here for discussion of World View Enterprise's high-altitude balloon flights.

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