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Space tourism is coming to Tucson with a World View

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - At 90 years of age, William Shatner of Star Trek fame, flew into space on the Blue Origin rocket. It was an up and back flight but it left quite an impression on Shatner.

“What you have given me in the most profound experience you can imagine,” Shatner told Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos. “I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened, extraordinary.”

That’s a sentiment more and more Americans will begin to feel in the months and years to come as civilian space travel has become a reality with much more on the way.

“We started taking reservations last Monday,” said Ryan Hartman, President and CEO of World View, a space enterprises company. “As of this morning we’re already at 450 reservations.”

Enough to keep their schedule full for a year.

World View, starting in 2024, will take people to “near space” not outer space for $50,000.

The half dozen passengers per flight will spend six to eight hours in a capsule where they will hover between earth and space at 100,000 feet, which is a profound experience.

“The excitement it has created, you know people are excited that this is a reality,” Hartman said. “Our role in all of this is to make it attainable.”

While it may be a bit pricey initially, as more people enter the market and as space travel becomes more common, prices will drop making it more attainable in the future.

“I don’t want this to be a thrill ride, I don’t want this to be something that is a significant adrenaline rush of 6 G’s on the launch and 5 G’s on the re-entry,” he said. “This is something that people can experience just how calm and smooth it can be.”

World View first brought the idea of space tourism to Tucson in 2016 when the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to build and lease the company a facility with launch pad for $15 million.

There was a lot of skepticism that people would pay to go into space but since Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have begun to take ordinary citizens into space, the doubters doubt no more.

“This is the only solution where you view the earth, see the curvature of the earth, see the darkness of space,” he said. “There’s no other way to do that than World View.”

Hartman says his company is not competing with Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin but it enhances the market giving those who want the experience a different alternative.

A quiet ride as opposed to a rocket. But the goal is the same: a profound experience.

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