A company wants to fly customers with an advanced balloon from the surface of the earth in Alaska to the highest parts of the planet’s atmosphere.
Florida-based startup Space Perspective plans to use the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak as the launch site for the vehicle called Spaceship Neptune, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Sunday.
The balloon flights are manned by a flight crew that carries eight passengers in a pressure capsule under a hydrogen balloon the size of a football stadium.
Each passenger could pay an estimated $ 125,000 for a six-hour trip.
Mark Lester, CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp., said the heights will be available from Kodiak in a few years and will support Alaska tourism.
“You will have people from all over the world coming to Alaska who want to see the Northern Lights from the edge of space,”
Alaska Aerospace and Space Perspective will test and refine spaceport operations and secure space licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Space Perspective plans to conduct an unmanned test flight from the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida next year.
The passengers begin with a two-hour climb to about 31 kilometers above the earth. You can then post about the experience or send data on social media.
“Neptune then descends under the balloon for two hours and splashes down where a ship picks up passengers,” said Alaska Aerospace along with the capsule and the balloon.
Capsule restoration would take place in the waters around Kodiak Island and the chain of Aleutian Islands, depending on seasonal wind patterns.
The balloon design is based on the technology with which NASA has been flying large research telescopes for decades, according to Space Perspective.