Mainstream spaceflight is becoming a reality in Arizona as World View, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, announces plans to build their global headquarters in Tucson.
In collaboration with Sun Corridor Inc., the City of Tucson, Pima County and the State of Arizona, World View will be the anchor tenant in the County Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park and will operate Pima County-owned Spaceport Tucson; Arizona’s first launch pad dedicated to space endeavors.
Related: NASA experiments take a World View balloon ride to near-space
The space tech campus will be comprised of Spaceport Tucson, a balloon manufacturing facility, and engineering and testing facilities. The partnership is projected to create more than 400 jobs.
- Spaceport Tucson: Lofting Arizona into the private space industry, the launch pad at Spaceport Tucson will serve as the site of World View’s spaceflight operations, and will be available for use by other companies in Arizona.
- Balloon Manufacturing Facility: The new campus will house the company’s balloon manufacturing facility where it will produce the balloons that will carry its spacecraft and other payloads up to 140,000 feet above Earth.
- Work Space: The World View campus will house World View’s flight operations control center, engineering and testing facilities, a launch observation balcony, and a spacecraft integration high bay.
“Spaceport Tucson sends a strong message to the aerospace community that Southern Arizona is a new center for the commercial space business,” said Jane Poynter, CEO, World View, “Arizona has now joined the rapidly growing list of states in the commercial space industry.”
World View’s innovative and proprietary high-altitude balloons and flight technologies offer more than human spaceflight. The space tech company also uses its high-tech balloons as satellites to orbit the planet or hover over a single location. Without needing a rocket propulsion, as does a typical satellite, World View’s balloons can be used to fly instruments for communications, weather, Earth observation, surveillance and research.
The space tech company is aware of the significant market for their technology and already has partnerships with NASA and Northrop Grumman, and is backed by an international group of investors who are industry captains in technology, travel and finance.
“Economic Development is like a journey to space, it takes extensive planning, a lot of hard work and bold action to achieve. World View and Pima County have embarked on a great and bold journey together today. I can’t wait to see that first balloon rise up to the heavens and see the stars,” said Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
World View offers near-space human flights unlike any other spaceflight experience being offered today. The $75,000 price tag allows passengers to remain afloat above the Earth for approximately two hours to take in all the sights.
The new World View campus will be located directly adjacent to Spaceport Tucson, with a move-in date slated for later this year.
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