Wednesday, October 1st7.3°C
22738

Arizona company successfully tests high-altitude balloon for space tourism

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An Arizona company says it has successfully completed the first small-scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule being developed to let tourists float 20 miles above the earth.

World View Enterprises of Tucson said Tuesday that it launched the flight last week from Roswell, New Mexico.

CEO Jane Poynter said the system broke the world record for highest parafoil flight, lifting a payload to 120,000 feet.

"It went really, really, really well," Poynter said. "Actually, the guys hit the ball out of the park. We're thrilled."

The system uses a balloon similar to that used in 2012 to lift Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner 128,000 feet to make a world-record breaking 24-mile sky dive. That flight also launched from the Roswell airport.

Poynter said that last week's flight was the first testing all the components together. It used a balloon about third the size of that planned for passenger flight to lift a payload of about one-tenth of what will be used to carry passengers.

The company is still planning to begin its $75,000 per-person flights in 2016, she said. The balloons will lift a capsule carrying six passengers and two crew members 20 miles up, where they will float under a parafoil for about two hours before floating back down to earth. The capsule will be big enough for the passengers to walk around.

The selling point is the view of the Earth and seeing its curve, the company says. Other space-tourism ventures under development will rocket passengers the full 62 miles into space but on much shorter flights.

In filings with the Federal Aviation Administration, World View said it planned to launch its flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico. But Poynter Tuesday said that no final decision has been made on where to base the flights.

Spaceport is where Virgin Galactic plans to launch its first space-tourism flights at a cost of $200,000 per person. Development of Virgin's spacecraft has taken longer than originally planned, and it is unclear when the company, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, will make its first flight. The company's newest target date is the end of this year, but it has said that for each of the last several years.

"I don't think anyone anyone considers us in a race," Poynter said when asked if they might beat Virgin Galactic to passenger flight. "We don't consider us in competition because the experience is so completely different."

___

Follow Jeri Clausing at http://twitter.com/jericlausing

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23479


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14960.51-16.41
S&P CDNX909.29-3.47
DJIA17042.90-28.32
Nasdaq4493.39-12.462
S&P 5001972.29-5.51
CDN Dollar0.8919-0.0012
Gold1209.30-2.2999
Oil90.17+0.41
Lumber333.20+0.30
Natural Gas4.139+0.018

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.26+0.03
Cantex0.065-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.184-0.001
Metalex Ventures0.0550.00
Russel Metals34.57+0.08
Copper Mountain Mining2.42-0.10
Colorado Resources0.165+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.019-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.065+0.045
Mission Ready Services0.32-0.02

 





FEATURED Property
19909502355 Arthur Court
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$1,345,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 2 of 2 to read Part 1, click here. 5. Dial down your vacations. New York is out. Maybe Buffalo. For West coast, maybe Seattle instead of Hawaii. Use sites like Airbnb (aribnb.ca) to find ch...


A wildly successful manufacturer

Niche food producer “Sweets from the Earth” thrives using innovation, uniqueness and an unwavering focus on quality. A neighbour’s stew turned Ilana Kadonoff off meat at the age of s...


Finding the smart money

Recently I had the privilege of working alongside André Voskuil, a local guru in the world of Alternative Financing. André has quite the reputation in the world of direct investments as ...

_





23545


Member of BC Press Council


23504