World View: stratospheric tourism in a balloon (helium) balloon
An interesting project was proposed by Paragon , a company that manufactures equipment for the ISS. The project, called World View, involves raising "tourists" to a height of 30 kilometers above the Earth in an airtight capsule that is attached to a large balloon filled with helium (which undergoes constant heating).
Such a capsule can accommodate eight passengers who can enjoy the view of their planet from great heights, practically from space. Presumably, the views will be amazing, such a flight will not be inferior in terms of entertainment to the planned (in the near future) flights of private space carriers that bring wealthy space tourists into orbit.
Tourists who climb into the stratosphere will be able to enjoy the views of the Earth from a great height for 6 hours. At the same time, they can easily move around the capsule itself. But “space” tourists, firstly, will be limited in their actions, and secondly, much less time will be in space.
Of course, in such a ball it will not be possible to achieve a state of weightlessness, so it will not work out to experience what Virgin Galactic space tourists will experience (although in their case it is very short). But a flight ticket in a capsule of a balloon costs much less than in the case of a flight on a Virgin Galactic spaceship. So, for a balloon tourist, a ticket will cost 75 thousand dollars (while a space flight with Virgin Galactic will cost 250 thousand US dollars).
Paragon is currently conducting control tests of equipment and is also preparing the legal framework for its new business. All this will be completed by 2016, when the project will be available to everyone. Rather, not to everyone, but only to those who would be willing to pay $ 75,000 for a flight to a height of 30 kilometers.