Near the edge of space

There are a few companies that are very close to taking your money and hauling your backside into space or near space… In some cases, you can actually get into weightlessness…. The thing is, with all those options, they all involve a rocket of some kind…. While this might be exciting for some, I would rather have a more gentle option for getting above most of the planet’s atmosphere. Well, very soon, I will have that exact option.

There are balloon rides, and then there are balloon rides. And although it may sound like something out of a Jules Verne novel, a company called World View says it will begin taking passengers to the edge of outer space by the end of 2017. In a step toward that goal on Tuesday, company officials confirmed that the first flights will take place in southern Arizona near the Tucson International Airport.

World View plans to fly six passengers in a pressurized cabin to an altitude of 30km, where they will remain for a couple of hours. The generally accepted boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space is 100km, known as the Kármán line. However, at 30km, or about 100,000 feet, the balloon will have risen above 99 percent of Earth’s atmosphere and afford fine views of the planet’s curvature and the blackness of space. The company has priced tickets at $75,000 per person for an experience that will last four to six hours in total.

While 75 large is out of my budget (only just ), the longer more peaceful ride has my full attention.
I love this idea of going up and down in a much more fitting way to view the amazing sight of the planet stretched out below you like that.
No idea why, but it just seems to me that space should be peaceful, not torn apart by the roar and vibration of a rocket…. But hey, no one asked me.