Space tourism: From Arizona to the stratosphere

Space tourism: From Arizona to the stratosphere
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It is National Space Week. Just one year ago, World View announced space tourism, giving regular people the opportunity to go to space. Right now, capsules are being built and tested.

World View is based in Tucson and KOLD News 13 got to go inside the explorer space capsule. It is still in the mock phase. But soon, it will be an out-of-this-world experience.

“And to think about one year now, we will really be entering into the final stages of preparing to take people into the stratosphere,” said World View CEO Ryan Hartman.

World View is creating a customer experience around “the view.”

“It is not a thrill of a rocket ride, the thrill of zero gravity. It is really about experiencing a gentle ascent in a luxurious environment where you will be served a cocktail and eat a light meal,” Hartman said.

Eight people and two crew members will see this gorgeous view of a lifetime guided by a zero-pressure stratospheric balloon and pressurized space capsule, powered by helium.

“It is actually one of the very first ways the U.S. explored used the idea of going to space. They used balloons to take Mr. Kittinger up so that he could experience viewing the earth from space. So, it is proven technology, what we have done is evolved it to make it safe, and reliable,” said Hartman.

KOLD got a behind-the-scenes tour of the balloon farm.

“That is where the balloons are laid out and inspected, manufactured. Then we manufacture our hard systems. So, the craft itself and the avionics,” said Hartman.

Hartman said it will feel like you are in an elevator.

The best thing about using our approach to space tourism is you’re going to be at the very top of earth’s atmosphere, above 99% of earth’s atmosphere. So, you will be able to see the blue line, the curvature of the earth, see the darkness of space,” said Hartman.

The unique experience takes place at 100,000 feet.

“You will be mostly stationary for a 6-to-8-hour period. You can see things like night turning into day and weather performing below you,” said Hartman.

World View is building seven spaceports around the world.

“We call it the Seven Wonders of the World and Stratospheric Conditions. The first one is Spaceport Grand Canyon in Page, Arizona. It will be a resort coupled with a launch facility,” he said.

Hartman said the balloons will not land where they launch.

“The system will travel 60 to 100 miles away from the spaceport. It will land at a predetermined location,” said Hartman.

But this view comes at a cost of $50,000. World View says they have gotten 1,200 deposits so far.

“I’ll be up on the first one I’m allowed to go up on. Mostly for selfish reasons but I want to also be able to show people that it is safe and reliable and show my confidence in the solution,” he said.

The first launch is slated for 2024.

Click here to reserve your seat.