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Space tourism has a new player

December 16, 2022

There are plenty of well-known players looking to tap into the market for so-called space tourism, not least Sir Richard Branson and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. Now they might have new competitor in the shape of Halo Space, and balloon flights.

Spain-based Halo Space has successfully flown a prototype stratospheric balloon up some 23 miles (37 kms) into the very edge of space. The balloon’s design allows for passengers to be carried, although a single ticket will cost $200,000 per ride.

Halo says the test (and unmanned) flight lasted 4 hours and took place at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Hyderabad, India. Further tests and design work will be carried out and the company says the first commercial flights will take place in 2029.

There could be considerable appeal in that the flights are each zero emission, says Halo, and the current capsule is stylishly designed.

CEO, Carlos Mira, commented: “Our goal for this first flight was to test our safety systems as well as our navigation and control system, which are two of the most critical parts of Halo’s flight programme.”

Alberto Castrillo, aerospace engineer and CTO at Halo, said that, in regular flights, the parachute will be deployed at around 12 miles (20 kms) during the flight’s descent. He added: “In this test flight we wanted to demonstrate that, even at the highest altitude of 37 kilometres, we could deploy it and land safely – and we are proud to report that we did it.”

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