fact: not everyone can afford a 250 grand ticket for a suborbital flight, but that’s not the be all and end all IF you have $75,000 to drop. for 75k, you can still get a view of the curve of the earth from 19 miles (or around 31 kilometers, which is roughly 79 km shy of Virgin Galactic suborbital flight) up there, thanks to the unique travel experience offered by the World View Near-Space Balloon Flights. however, instead of some futuristically named commercial spacecraft, you will be accommodated in a high altitude hot air balloon capsule which takes four hours for a round trip that includes 90 minutes of ascending, two hours of ‘sailing’, plus a 40 minutes descent. according to the scant details we read on the official website, you will be treated to the beverage of your choice, while you enjoy “the luxurious comfort and gentle glide of the vessel.”
well, beyond that small piece of info, little is know about the amenities the capsule has to offer or how many people will be in each capsule. but then again, the World View Near-Space Balloon Flights is still at least two years from fruition (sometime in early 2016, we heard), so we should be hearing from the good people soon in due course. with regards to if it is considered a spaceflight, well, technically, you should already be in space at 19 miles, but it is just 30 percent of what a 250,000 dollars ticket will get you to and it probably won’t get you the weightlessness that you might craved for the whole time. however, it is noteworthy that you are also only paying 30 percent of a real-deal suborbital flight would cost, so i guess it is a fair tradeoff and besides, you get to be up there longer, albeit not any higher.
whichever you choose, you still get to see the glorious curvature of planet Earth in person, and that alone should be exhilarating enough. though i have just one question, what the heck am i going to do floating 19 miles higher for two hours?