See the earth from afar in a World View Enterprises space capsule

world view space capsule
See the world from afar in a luxurious space capsule.
Credit: World View Enterprises

Starting in 2016, World View Enterprises, a space tourism company in Arizona, will send its clients up into the sky inside a pressurized capsule powered by a high-altitude hot-air balloon. For a cool $75,000, customers will reach a height of 19 miles above the Earth’s surface, high enough to peek through the window and gaze at the planet’s curvature. Kaley Briesmaster of World View Enterprises spoke to Metro about the thrill of seeing the earth’s curves.

What’s your flight program all about?

It will be a human spaceflight experience unlike any other suborbital opportunity being offered today. You will ride in a space-qualified, luxury-appointed spacecraft, large enough to walk around in. You will rise into the atmosphere, slowly and gently, not on a roaring rocket. You will watch every tree, every building and even the mountains become smaller and smaller. Once you reach 30 kilometers, you will float along the edge of space for two hours, taking in the breathtaking views of our home planet.

Sounds like the perfect place for a selfie.

Yes, you’re right. You will also be able to communicate back to Earth to your family and friends via social media. When it’s time to descend, you will do so just as gently as you rose into the atmosphere.

How long are you floating up there?

It’s five hours from launch to landing. Voyagers will float along the edge of space for more than two hours.

The thought of space tourism is equally thrilling and terrifying. How many tests will be necessary before this mission literally gets off the ground?

Component and subscale testing is well underway. Ultimately the progress and success of the production and flight testing phases will drive the schedule. We only anticipate that commercial flights will begin in late 2016.

What’s the damage: How much money do I need to splurge on a ticket to heaven?

The entire cost of the flight is $75,000, a third of what it costs for other space travel competitors. Flights can be reserved now with a $5,000 deposit. We have room for up to six passengers at a time. There will also a pilot and additional crew member, for a total of eight individuals in the capsule.


Manhattan ERs sees rash of synthetic marijuana

Almost two dozen people were rushed to Manhattan emergency rooms since Friday for possible negative reactions to synthetic marijuana products.


The rules for dipping into your kid's college…

Find out when it is - and isn't - OK to use that locked vault college fund money to pay your bills.


Times Square Spider-Man hauled off after punching cop:…

An amateur Spider-Man was anything but a hero on Sunday after authorities said he punched an officer to evade arrest in Times Square.


Widow of Eric Garner says he was not…

The family of Eric Garner, who died while in NYPD custody, remembered him as being peaceful but constantly harassed by law enforcement.


Comic-Con: An interview with Wired publisher Howard Mittmann

Howard Mittmann, publisher of Wired magazine, discusses the Wired Cafe and its role in the zoo that is Comic-Con.


9 bombshells dropped at this year's San Diego…

There were no big surprises at this year's Comic-Con, but attendees did get the first look at Wonder Woman and got some "Game of Thrones" news.


Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."


Susan Sarandon likes doing drugs in the outdoors

Susan Sarandon got very, very candid about her feelings on drug use during an interview with the Daily Beast.


Kevin Love becomes third NBA player to pull…

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves became the third NBA player to withdraw from consideration for Team USA in next month's World Cup, USA Basketball.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings


Strawberry shortcake ice cream sandwiches

Make this ice cream sandwich all summer long.


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.