Thanks to Spanish entrepreneur Jose Mariano Lopez-Urdiales, boss of Barcelona-based Zero2Infinity, the rich and the brave will be able to get to near-space to see the Sun and stars up close.
Most companies who prepare for space tourism focus on building shuttles, but Zero2Infinity’s approach is a tad different. Through its eblooni service, the company intends to send people to space in capsules that ascend with the help of a giant balloon. That would definitely be a hot ride!
Annelie Schoenmaker of Zero2Infinity stated: “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. 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 customized 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.”
Below you can see the phases the balloon will go through to get the tourists up high and back to our planet.
Russian adventurer Artemy Lebedev, who prides himself in having visited every country on our planet, is said to have signed-up for a trip to near-space. Apart from him, the other tourists will most probably billionaires from all around the world. Well, maybe that’s a good way of getting rid of the 1%!
Mind you, getting to near-speace is not going to be cheap, even though these balloons are advertised as a more convenient way of leaving the planet. Each tourist will have to pay £95,000 (approximately $142,000) to get this ride. The capsule isn’t that roomy, either, as only six passengers can fit inside, out of which two are the pilots.
The downside of traveling this way? There will definitely not be any stewardesses serving food and drinks. The best part of the eblooni project? Seeing the curvature of Earth, the Sun, the Moon and everything else like few people had the chance. I hope they’ll discover that cure for immortality, as I’m going to start saving money right now and if everything goes right, maybe I’ll go to near-space, too, in less than a century.