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AZ Tech Beat | March 24, 2017

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Tucson-based firm hopes to take passengers up to space

Tucson-based firm hopes to take passengers up to space
Ashley Garcia

If you have ever imagined what it would be like to travel to space, it may soon become as easy as hopping in a balloon for a quick ride to the galaxy. Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corporation has announced plans for a human flight into nearspace, unlike any other spaceflight experience being offered today, allowing passengers to remain afloat for approximately two hours to take in all the sights.

Passengers among this out-of-this-world ride will be among the few to have seen the Earth with their own eyes. They will be able to take in the astounding views, the blackness of space, the brilliance of stars and the thin veil of atmosphere enveloping our planet – all of which could be reserved exclusively for astronauts for a pretty penny (roughly $75,000).

The balloon ride would take the capsule up to about 20 miles, where it would float along with the winds, then disconnect from the balloon and glide back to earth with a parasail — essentially a steerable parachute. That’s not only cheaper — initial reservations are being priced at $65,000, with a $5,000, nonrefundable deposit — but also has the advantage of providing the travelers a longer experience.

balloon

Jane Poynter, CEO of World View says, “Seeing the Earth hanging in the ink-black void of space will help people realize our connection to our home planet and to the universe around us, and will surely offer a transformative experience to our customers. It is also our goal to open up a whole new realm for exercising human curiosity, scientific research and education. We look forward to pioneering this new, accessible and affordable spaceflight regime, and to sharing the breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experience with people from around the globe.”

Paragon has already named former astronaut Mark Kelly as its director of flight crew operations and hopes to begin operation in 2016.

Paragon Space Development Corporation is a vehicle developer company with over 20 years of spaceflight experience and patent-pending technologies to World View, and has already begun component testing. Subscale testing will begin soon, demonstrating the flight characteristics of the overall integrated system. Learn more about Paragon Space Development Corporation by clicking here: http://www.paragonsdc.com/index.php

Images provided by Paragon Space Development Corporation