A Japanese startup plans to launch a commercial balloon into space to help ordinary people experience the expensive experience of seeing the universe.
According to the AP news agency, company director Keisuke Iwaya said passengers do not need to be billionaires or undergo intense training courses to be able to fly into space.
The spherical vehicle includes 2 seats
The spherical vehicle includes 2 seats that take passengers to a height of 25 km above the ground to visualize space. (Photo: AP).
“This vehicle is safe, economical and gentle on everyone. This initiative is based on the idea of bringing space tourism to everyone,” Iwaya said he wants to “democratize space.”
Space balloon it’s my idea Iwaya Giken Company Based in Sapporo, northern Japan. This company has been researching and developing the project since 2012. The project is developing a two-seater hot air balloon capable of flying to a height of 25,000 m – the distance at which people inside can see the curve of the Earth.
Even though the hot air balloon is only flying near the middle of the stratosphere and passengers won’t actually be in space, they will still be at an altitude higher than an airplane’s ceiling and will have a clear view of the sky. Normally, an airliner only operates at an altitude of 10,000 to 12,800 m, while a fighter jet can fly up to an altitude of 15,000 m.
The hot air balloon can carry a pilot and a passenger, departing from a hot air balloon station in Hokkaido, flying to a height of 25,000 meters in two hours, remaining in the stratosphere for an hour before landing in the next hour. The company says the plastic cabin measures 1.5 meters in diameter and has several large windows that allow passengers to observe space above or the Earth below.
Unlike spacecraft, Giken’s balloon will rise using helium, which can be reused. Flights will also be safely restricted to Japanese territory or airspace. The first trip is planned for the end of this year.
The company revealed that the first 5 selected passengers will be announced in October and that flights will be spaced approximately a week apart, depending on the weather.
In cooperation with Japanese travel agency JTB, Iwaya Giken announced plans to carry out a commercial flight with an initial price estimated at around 24 million yen (US$180,000). However, director Keisuke Iwaya said he wanted to reduce the price of the flight to a few million yen.
With Japanese space projects lagging behind U.S. companies like SpaceX, Iwaya said his goal is to make space travel more accessible. The SpaceX group sent 3 rich businessmen and an escort of astronauts in April 2021 at a cost of 55 million USD/person.
Article source: News Journal
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An upcoming Japanese startup will launch a commercial balloon into space to help ordinary people get…