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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Get an Incredible View of Earth From 19 Miles Up — For a Cool $75K

•, By Jason Paur
 “Seeing the Earth hanging in the ink-black void of space will help people realize our connection to our home planet and to the universe around us,” World View CEO Jane Poynter said in a statement today. “It is also our goal to open up a whole new realm for exercising human curiosity, scientific research and education.”

Like the Spain-based zero2infinity, World View is planning rides in a relatively spacious gondola, suspended beneath a balloon, that will carry passengers to around 100,000 feet. The view is a long ways from Virgin Galactic’s plans for sub-orbital rocket rides at 360,000 feet, but the view from a gondola will last for a few hours (or more). It’s also a lot cheaper at $75,000, compared to the current ticket price of $250,000 for a ride on Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo which will only spend a few minutes at the peak of its flight before descending back to earth.

The ability to spend hours at 100,000 feet, does offer new opportunities, even if it doesn’t include the weightlessness being touted by Virgin Galactic’s parabolic flight path. The helium balloon could be launched at night to offer a spectacular sunrise opportunity with pretty much all of the atmosphere below you, and the darkness of space remaining above you even after the sun is up.

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