A Trip to the Stratosphere with WorldView

Interesting Engineering

article-2472674-18EA560500000578-826_634x372[Image Source: WorldView Experience]capsule[Image Source: WorldView Experience]

The human dreams to watch Earth from a bird eye since time immemorial. The following project attempts to offer views over Earth from a distance far above any bird eye is able to reach. A startup company from Arizona announced plans to send passengers at altitude of 19 miles (30,4 km), i.e. to the stratosphere. For that purpose the company, World View, develops a capsule that will be lifted by a 1,1 mln cubic meters (40 mln cubic feet) helium balloon. The capsule will be directed by a steerable wing-shaped parachute. World View is a part from Paragon Space Development Corp.

Journey-to-Space-by-Priestmangoode_dezeen_6[Image Source: WorldView Experience]

A ticket for this stratosphere trip will cost around $75 000. According to the company, tickets will be marketed in few months and such flight will be possible after three years.
"The balloon you're under is the thickness of a dry cleaner bag. It's very thin material by necessity to get you so high. That's where the technical risk lies. The risks of decompression of the spacecraft or life-support systems failures are really pretty small. We've got lots of redundant systems and we can return to lower altitudes pretty quickly," said Taber MacCallum, Chief Executive of Paragon."There is a chance - and every once in a while you see in scientific ballooning - of a balloon failure. That's really what took us to having this para-wing, or parafoil always open so that from just about any altitude the vehicle could safely glide back,".