Halo Space Unveils Ambitious Plan to Take Tourists to the Stratosphere for $150,000

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 23, 2024 21:32 PMNews
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Sunrise over Earth from space, with a bright orange glow on the horizon and a dark night sky in the background
Sunrise over Earth from space, with a bright orange glow on the horizon and a dark night sky in the background. Source: pixabay

Halo Space, founded in 2021 with the goal of making space tourism more accessible, is set to launch a unique offering in 2026: stratospheric journeys via helium balloon, costing $150,000 per ticket. This alternative approach to space tourism, cheaper and more sustainable than rockets or jets, could make stratospheric travel more achievable for adventurous tourists.

Unlike companies like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, which use rockets and jets, Halo Space's helium balloon concept significantly reduces costs and environmental impact. CEO Carlos Mira aims to fly 10,000 people to the stratosphere within six years, with tickets set to go on sale in 2026.

Halo Space's helium balloon capsules are designed to cruise at 18 to 22 miles above Earth, similar to the height of Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking skydive in 2012. The entire trip lasts between four and six hours, offering a longer experience than Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic flights but shorter than SpaceX's. The reduced use of jet engines contributes to the lower cost and sustainability of Halo's offering.

The Spanish-based company's unique concept has garnered attention, especially after unveiling the capsule's interior, designed by Frank Stephenson, a former designer for Ferrari and Maserati. The capsule is over 16 feet wide and 11 feet tall, with nine seats, including one for the pilot. Stephenson's design allows passengers to face outward during the cruise, providing expansive views, while the seats can adjust during takeoff and landing for safety.

Despite these ambitious plans, Halo Space faces significant challenges, including regulatory approval and safety concerns. The company needs certification from the Federal Aviation Administration before launching commercial flights, and concerns about safety have been raised, especially after the recent implosion of OceanGate's submersible.

Mira reassures critics by emphasizing the company's commitment to safety and use of mature technology, noting that helium balloons have been around for over 200 years. Halo Space has also partnered with engineering firms like Aciturri to ensure the structural integrity of its capsules. As Halo moves forward with its plans, the space tourism industry watches closely to see if the company's unique approach will bring a new era of affordable and sustainable space travel.

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