General, Research, Technology

How to fly into space in a hot air balloon and how much does it cost?

The Spanish company Zero 2 Infinity willsend people into space in a hot air balloon. And we are not talking about professional astronauts, but about ordinary people who want to see space. It goes without saying that we are not talking about flights to distant planets - the balloon will rise to a height of no more than 40 kilometers. The figure is not impressive, but it is enough to see the Earth from space. The journey will last about 6 hours and the ticket will cost approximately $ 130,000. At the current exchange rate, this is almost 10 million rubles, so the price may seem very high. But in fact, this is a fairly acceptable cost and there is an explanation for this. So let's take a look at how the company is going to use the balloon for space travel and why is it so cool?

Zero 2 Infinity Balloon and Capsule

Flight into space in a hot air balloon

Zero 2 Infinity wants to get rich onspace tourism since 2009. To send people into space, she is developing an apparatus that consists of two parts. Firstly, it is a huge balloon, which will be used for ascent to great heights. Secondly, it is a capsule with seats for passengers, which will be tied to the ball with a strong cable. The first prototype was created in 2012 and during testing it successfully climbed 40 meters. There was a dummy inside the capsule and he was not injured.

Zero 2 Infinity Prototype Tests

In 2017, the Bloostar prototype was created, whichconsisted of a balloon and a module with rocket engines. During the test, he rose to the required height and, with the help of the included engines, successfully changed his trajectory. In the video below, you can see how flights should look like, ideally. People will sit in the capsule and take to the sky using a 128-meter helium balloon. After spending time in orbit, the capsule will be gently lowered to the ground. A soft landing will be provided by pillows that inflate upon landing. But the video does not show a module with rocket engines - apparently, it will appear in the final version of the device.

Landing capsule with passengers

Zero 2 Infinity really has a chance to become more famous. She is ready to offer 6-hour flights at an altitude of 40 kilometers for 132 500 dollars... This is a very attractive price because Virgin Galactic is asking $ 250,000 per ticket... But the higher cost is justified becausethat the VSS Unity spacecraft she created will be able to lift people up to 100 kilometers. And the cabin will be very comfortable and passengers will be able to experience weightlessness. There is also a huge mirror inside the ship so that people can watch the tricks they do during the flight. You can view the salon of the VSS Unity spacecraft at this link.

VSS Unity Spaceship

Hot air ballooning wantsto offer also the American company Space Perspective. True, the device created by her will be able to rise to a 30-meter height and stay there for about 2 hours. The journey will be less exciting and long, but it will cost less than the Zero 2 Infinity. One ticket will cost $ 125,000 and their sales should begin as early as 2021. I talked about this in detail in this material. In the same place, I explained how space tourism can be of interest to ordinary people.

Passenger capsule Space Perspective

Read Also: 8 Cool Places for Martian Tourism

What is the best way to fly into space?

It turns out that Zero 2 Infinity is somethingaverage. Traveling in a hot air balloon will clearly not be as exciting as flying in a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. But the clients of the Spanish company will be able to get a slightly more vivid experience than those who turned to the American Space Perspective. However, this is not yet certain. After all, impressions will depend not only on the flight altitude, but also on the level of safety and comfort inside the passenger capsule.

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At the end of the article, I want to conduct an interactive.Imagine having the choice of going into space in a hot air balloon from Zero 2 Infinity or Space Perspective. Which option would you choose and why? Write in the comments.

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