Forget cutesy balloon rides over oceans, deserts, and forests… let’s freaking blow this joint and go into space together. 😉 ❤
The team at zero2infinity is moving forward with plans to offer extreme-altitude balloon rides, and recently sent a scale model soaring to an altitude of more than 104,000 feet.
Zero2infinity, founded by MIT-educated engineer José Mariano López-Urdiales, hopes to provide a cheaper, more relaxing way for tourists and scientists to experience “near-space” altitudes by ascending to nearly 120,000 feet (36 kilometers) in a pod suspended beneath at 400-foot-diameter balloon. That is well short of the 100 km or so promised by Virgin Galactic and others developing suborbital spacecraft, but López-Urdiales argues it will provide a similar view for far less money.
The scale model, called the microbloon 2.0, has a two meter diameter and includes a model of the pod that will carry passengers. López-Urdiales says it performed well, supporting his vision of a comfortable ride where passengers will be able to see the blackness of space and the curvature of the earth.