Would be astronauts looking to book the trip of a lifetime are being offered the chance to float into space in a high tech balloon.
A Spanish company plans on offering the ultimate day trip to near-space in two years time – just enough time to start saving for the £95,000 ($142,000) ticket.
During the flight, passengers will be able to stand up and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Earth, experience weightlessness and even eat a meal if they desire.
Scroll down for video…
The ëblooní is the brainchild of Spanish entrepreneur Jose Mariano Lopez-Urdiales, boss of Barcelona-based Zero2Infinity.
Space tourists will journey to earth’s outer limits in a capsule that can hold six people – four passenger and two pilots.
Annelie Schoenmaker of Zero2Infinity, said: ‘The ride will be very gentle and peaceful as well as environmentally friendly.
‘Passengers will be able to see the sun and the stars at the same time, while looking down on the curvature of the earth.’
Russian adventurer Artemy Lebedev who is one of the few people on the planet to have visited every country, has already signed up for a trip to near-space.
Commercial operations will begin in 2015 but a trip for four people will cost around £95,000.
Ms Schoenmaker said: ‘The experience will be very much like that in an aeroplane although there will be a period of about 30 seconds when passengers will experience weightlessness and will be able to float around the cabin.
‘Everything is customised to the person’s individual requirements. We can partition off part of the cabin for those who want more privacy and we can even serve them Michelin star meals if that’s what they want.’
Zero2Infinitydevelops technologies to enable cost-efficient access to near-space with zero-environmental impact flying solutions.
While it currently offers trips for scientific researchers as well as equipment in its ‘Bloon’ pods, it is targeting couples and families with this new venture.
Zero2Infinity’s largest pod, which carries six people, has 15 square metres of windows for amazing views of the Earth and space.
The company is currently doing test flights and raising more investment for its new venture.
JOURNEY OF THE BLOON TO THE EDGE OF SPACE
- The balloons lift off from an aerodrome in Cordoba, Spain – although the location has not been confirmed
- Ascent from the Earth’s surface to an altitude of 36 kilometers takes just one hour
- The balloon and pod fly for around two hours at a height that is twice that of Concorde’s cruising altitude
- The balloon vents gas to descend like a normal hot air balloon
- The pod separates from the balloon, attached to a para-foil, which allows the passengers to experience zero gravity for around two minutes
- Guided descent to a landing area takes around 40 minute
The company usually takes researchers and scientific experiments into near-space.
Its balloons offer scientists the chance to so earth and space observations, study atmospheric science, demonstrate technology in zero gravity conditions and conduct drop testing.
Zero2Gravity recently collaborated with Spanish university, Universitat Jaume, to send its humanoid robot called NAO into space.
The collaboration aims to advance in the development of robotics by offering a real platform to test university’s research in robotic intelligence.
Attribution: Sarah Griffiths, Mail Online