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Japan, United States, France: these start-ups which aim to send tourists into the stratosphere

2024-02-26T15:13:05.858Z

Highlights: Japanese start-up Iwaya Giken has announced plans to send tourists into the stratosphere. The first manned flights will go up to an altitude of 25 or 35 kilometers. Tourists will fly high enough to see the curvature of the earth, as explained by the French Aeronautical and Space Industries Group (Gifas) Other companies are in fact working on similar projects, such as the French group Zephalto, in collaboration with CNES in Toulouse, which is also targeting manned flights.


A Japanese company recently presented its balloon travel project, some 25 kilometers from the earth's surface. A sufficient distance for tourists to see the curvature of the planet.


Will “

space tourism

” now be able to boast of being less exclusive?

This is the ambition displayed by several companies around the world ready to send novices in balloons, well above the earth's surface.

But for now, these first manned flights will go up to an altitude of 25 or 35 kilometers, in the stratosphere, well below the limit with space located at nearly 100 km according to the International Aeronautical Federation. .

However, the experience promises to be exceptional.

Tourists will fly high enough to see the curvature of the earth, as explained by the French Aeronautical and Space Industries Group (Gifas).

A spherical capsule

This is also what the Japanese start-up Iwaya Giken, which has been working on this project for seven years, promises.

The latter announced on February 21 the official marketing of these flights which will begin next December.

The price of tickets?

165,000 euros.

A sum, certainly, very significant but much lower than the several tens of millions of dollars demanded by the American space agency SpaceX for its three-day trip into space.

The experience will indeed be somewhat different.

Beyond being much closer to land, the flight will also be shorter.

It will last only four hours, including two hours of ascent, one hour of stratospheric flight and one hour of descent, details

the magazine Sciences et Avenir.

It will also not require any specific preparation or training.

Tourists will just have to slip into the small spherical capsule, largely transparent and containing two seats (the first for the pilot and the second for the passenger).

The start-up is also developing a

“cabin for six people, which should be functional in four to five years”,

which would make it possible to lower the price of the ticket, reports the specialist magazine.

Admire the view from a balcony

And for good reason, competition is raging.

Other companies are in fact working on similar projects, such as the French group Zephalto, in collaboration with CNES in Toulouse, which is also targeting manned flights at an altitude of 25 kilometers.

The ticket for this journey which lasts six hours is sold for 120,000 euros.

“It’s about having a gentle, contemplative experience,”

said company founder Vincent Farret d’Astiès.

Because in addition to admiring the stars against a black background, travelers will be able to enjoy meals and drinks.

The start-ups Stratoflight and Expleo in France are also developing a capsule with a balcony for 6 people and capable of reaching 35 km by hydrogen balloon.

Once at altitude, tourists will then be able to go out onto the balcony and admire the view.

Taking off from Toulouse, the horizon would allow us to see a line from Amsterdam to Barcelona,”

declared Christophe Cazes, director of innovation at Expleo, according to our colleagues at

France Bleu

.

The American company Space Perspective has finally developed a pressurized capsule suspended from a huge balloon inflated with hydrogen.

Inside this cabin called Spaceship Neptune, the company promises absolute comfort with reclining chairs, bar and Wi-Fi connection, details the magazine

Science et Vie

.

But above all, the company promises to offer “

the most incredible panoramic views on Earth

” thanks to these immense portholes.

To the wise.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2024-02-26

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