Too poor for Virgin Galactic? There's another option

2014-06-25 14:51
Phoenix – If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the galaxy as a space tourist, we bet you were pretty excited when Richard Branson announced the launch of Virgin Galactic.  

Until you found out what a ticket would cost.  

Hoping to launch its first flights in 2015, Virgin Galactic, the US offshoot of Branson's London-based Virgin Group, is selling rides on SpaceShipTwo for $250,000 (R2.6m at R10.60/dollar) a pop.  

Which is not really affordable to the average person. At all.  So, you may be happy to know that there is a cheaper option. And it involves balloons!

Daily Mail reports that World View Enterprises is offering balloon flights to the ‘edge of space’ for $75 000 (R795 408), which is less than a third of what you’d pay Sir Richard.

The company plans to send its first paying customers 30km up into space in a pressurised capsule in 2016, and has just proven the system works fine… even setting a world record.

On 18 June they sent a test vehicle called Tycho 36km into space near Roswell, New Mexico.  

The vehicle then descended to 15 kilometers where it deployed a parafoil to glide the rest of the way back to the surface. That flight set the record for the highest parafoil flight ever.  

By 2016, they hope to send capsules known as ‘Voyagers’ up to the edge of space in the same way, giving six passengers and two crew the opportunity to view earth from afar.

The flight is estimated to last about two hours, which is a significant increase from Virgin Galactic’s projected six-minute flights. 

(World View Facebook)

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Read more on:    travel  |  travel international  |  space travel

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