For decades, space agencies have been reaching Space with chemical propulsion rockets. However, as the space tourism industry is growing recently, the idea of traveling to the edge of space with a space balloon began to arise. A French space balloon startup Zephalto recently announced its plan to achieve its first flights by 2025.
The company opened reservations for space flights to the stratosphere for $132,000 per ticket. Unlike commercial space companies that charge millions of dollars per ticket to space, Zephalto decided to reduce the cost to $132,000 to allow most people to afford to travel to the edge of space. But how will Zephalto send humans to Space in Space Balloon? Continue reading to find out.
How Zephalto will send humans to Space using its space balloon
Zephalto decided to work on sending humans to the edge of space with space balloons instead of using the traditional rocket systems. The firm plans to send six passengers on a flight to space in a capsule built underneath the hydrogen-and-helium-filled balloon. Upon liftoff, the space balloon will accelerate for about 90 minutes to an altitude of about 15.5 miles/25km. This height is about three times more than the feat attained by commercial air traffic.
When the passengers arrive at this point, they will navigate across the stratosphere and observe the beautiful sights for about three hours. After flying for this long, the space balloon will begin to descend and return to the surface of Earth. Zephalto reveals that it will take about 90 minutes for the space balloon to descend safely from space. The space balloon will not reach the altitude of Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic.
In fact, it will only reach only about 25% of that distance. Blue Origin earlier reveals that it flies its passengers past the Karman line, which lies at an altitude of 62 miles. The Karman line is the altitude recognized internationally as the start of outer space. Zephalto founder Vincent Farret d’Astiès believes that the altitude which will be attained by his company’s space balloon will still give its passengers only a tiny fraction of the view humanity has ever seen.
“We choose 25 kilometers high because it’s the altitude where you are in the darkness of space, with 98% of the atmosphere below you, so you can enjoy the curvature of the Earth in the blue line,” he said to Bloomberg during an interview. “You’re in the darkness of space, but without the zero gravity experience.”
Why Space Balloons Are Special
Many environmentalists are complaining about the environmental impact of the chemically powered rocket. However, they also revealed that space balloons are less hazardous to our environment. Emissions generated during rocket launches often leave dangerous exhaust in the atmosphere. Rocket’s different stages burn the stratosphere which is a thinner part of the atmosphere.
This region is more sensitive to the carbon emissions of rockets even more than other parts of the atmosphere. However, space balloons are much safer for the atmosphere. But they still have their own impact. A space balloon can increase the demand for helium. However, Zephalto reveals that its balloon will only need about 26.6kg of CO2, in total for its mission to space.
The space balloon will be built to be about 20 square meters in its inside to provide enough room for its six passengers. While in space, tourists can catch an unparalleled glimpse of the curvature of the Earth from the seven square meters of window space. The space vehicle will also have other fascinating amenities to give its passengers great comfort while they explore space.
But unlike reaching space with traditional space rockets that spend only a few minutes in space with their passengers, space balloons fly for about six hours. The company is planning to conduct about 60 trips to space every year once they commence full operation.
While the flights are set to commence in 2025, space enthusiasts that are willing to enjoy a fascinating view of the Cosmos can take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy a memorable view of the Universe. Getting a ticket for $132,000 for a six-hour flight may appear too expensive to most people. However, Zephalto has an affordable price when compared with other commercial space agencies. What do you think about reaching Space aboard space balloons?