Take a balloon ride to Space

A question I am often asked is how many balloons would it take to lift me, you can read my thoughts on that here, but in truth the answer is one, as long as it is big enough.  If it is really big it can lift you, five of your friends, all while sitting in comfort in a sort of Sci-Fi space pod with two pilots and take you all to the edge of space.  At least this is the plan for the proposed World View company which is a subsidiary of the Paragon Space Development Corporation operating out of Arizona. This may seem a bit futuristic, or a bit of a dream, but this project is already in the planing and testing phase.  It is expected that the first flight will lift of from Spaceport America in New Mexico sometime in 2016/17, mind you at $75,000 per ticket I’m pretty sure that I won’t be in the first capsule to lift off, maybe if it ever gets to a more reasonable price (or I win the lottery).   The only downside I see to this is that the current plans are to use helium to provide the lift and that the balloon and helium will be discarded at the apex of the flight and the pod will return to earth using a big parachute.  This strikes me as being pretty wasteful and, as helium increases in cost and becomes harder to source I would think that prices will go up.  Of course they may come up with a way to recycle the helium or maybe use hydrogen instead. You can check out a cool video here

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