Friday, March 06, 2015

Blog #4: The balloons that could fly tourists to the edge of space

The Balloons That Could Fly Tourists to the Edge of Space

The idea of commercial space flight has been around for a while but has really only been discussed with the plan of using a special kind of plane that can travel much higher than the average commercial plane flight. The idea of using balloons to traverse up to the highest reaches of the Earth's atmosphere has never really been one that has been discussed as much.

Annelie Schoenmaker, the external relations and legal officer of Zero2Infinity, a Spanish company that intends to use large helium filled balloons to grant around four to six passengers the opportunity of a lifetime; the chance to see the Earth as only a few others have seen it before.

Balloons have been used for a long time to reach the sky for many different purposes and Schoenmaker says that our use of balloons for travel, scientific purposes, or for recreation purposes was really the beginning of the space race as we continued to reach for higher ground.

These balloons could also be used for scientific research also since the balloons could spend several hours in the upper atmosphere, extending the length of time that could be used for experimentation and observation.

These large helium filled balloons would be pulling large space-age capsules all fitted with state of the art pressurization technology and life support systems. The capsules would also be fitted with washroom facilities and a dining area, as well as with windows for the passengers to enjoy the view.

All that is needed to return to Earth would be for the balloon to slowly vent helium, which allows for a slow descent back to Earth.

Ryan Campbell
March 6, 2015

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