A space tourism company wants to build a rocket-less capsule to send passengers into the stratosphere for only $50,000 – meet World View

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World View Explorer

Space tourism startup World View is building a rocket-less vessel to shuttle passengers to the stratosphere.
The first journey is expected to launch in 2023 and will cost participants just $50,000.
The capsule will operate out of spaceports built at ancient wonders, like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.
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The era of space tourism has begun, and it isn’t cheap. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic charges passengers $250,000 for a seat, but an Arizona-based company wants to offer the journey for just $50,000.

World View Explorer

Virgin Galactic just flew billionaire founder Richard Branson and 3 crewmembers to the edge of space

Source: World View

World View, a company that designs and manufactures stratospheric balloons, is entering the space tourism and exploration market with its rocket-less spacecraft.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The futuristic-looking vessel, known as the World View Explorer, will glide passengers 100,000 feet into the stratosphere on a 6-12 hour journey, more than doubling Virgin Galactic’s 2-3 hour flight time.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The company’s first mission is expected to launch in 2023 from Spaceport Grand Canyon, which has yet to be built. Currently, World View launches its stratospheric balloons from its spaceport in Tuscon, Arizona.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The explorer is powered by a natural resource instead of traditional jet fuel and will ascend using a giant balloon. The capsule is designed to slowly lift passengers at 10-12 miles per hour, so they will not experience G-force or turbulence.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

World View plans to land the vessel using a parasail, which can be deployed in the stratosphere and allow for a smooth descent.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The spacecraft will be fully autonomous with pre-determined trajectories, ensuring participants will take off and land at the spaceport and not in the ocean or an unpredicted site.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

World View plans to have launch sites all around the globe, specifically at locations that will connect participants to the Earth and give them unique views of the planet and its curvature.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The company has created a „Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Stratospheric Edition” list to build spaceports at, like the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, the Serengeti, and the Amazon Rain Forest.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

According to World View President and CEO Ryan Hartman, he wants people to see things like the animal migrations in the Serengeti or the aurora lights from the edge of space. „It has to be something of wonder, it has to be something where people can connect to the Earth,” Hartman told Insider.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

Hartman explained the sites also have to be in a place the capsules can fly for around 100 days out of the year. He further said he wants the spaceports to contribute to the local economy, like creating new jobs.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The company plans to have 28 spacecraft throughout the system to fly four flights a day at each of the seven sites. The vessels can also be used for special celestial events, like viewing the solar eclipse, though they would be launched from the best viewing location on Earth and not necessarily at a wonder.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The experience will cost participants $50,000 and the pre-sale begins October 4, though the company said financing plans are available. Hartman explained he wants space tourism to be affordable and accessible to people, so offering financing was important.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

Compared to competitors, $50,000 is cheap, and Hartman said the company is able to offer the low price point because the natural resource used to power the spacecraft is less expensive than jet fuel and the vessel itself does not use rockets.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

World View is focused on the customer experience and said the vessel will be nice, but not over-the-top luxurious. However, the company plans to offer tour packages at each wonder that includes high-end excursions, like snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef or dining in Las Vegas.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The explorer can carry eight passengers and two crew members. While the spacecraft is autonomous, one operator will be on board to ensure everything is working correctly, while the second crew member will take care of the customers, like serving food and drinks.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

Hartman said the capsule will be a „comfortable bubble” and include a lavatory, bar, and lie-flat seats where passengers can look up at the stars or down at the Earth through a porthole in the bottom of the vessel.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The experience is designed to be a „short-sleeve environment,” meaning no spacesuit will be required and the pressurization and temperature will be controlled, similar to flying on an airliner.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

Interesting technologies will also be on board, like a high-bandwidth data link so people can FaceTime will family or friends on the ground and show what they’re experiencing.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

There will also be a camera so people can zoom into areas on the ground and see it up close on the monitors at their seats, as well as an old-fashioned telescope so they can look at constellations without light pollution.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The company expects to have a prototype of the explorer in four to five months and will begin test flights by mid-2022. The capsule is a clean-sheet design, but is the next generation of a previous version that completed three test flights.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

The goal of World View’s space missions is to „turn space tourism into Earth activism” by allowing people to see our planet from a new perspective. The company said it hopes the journey will inspire people to appreciate Earth and want to protect it.

World View Explorer

Source: World View

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