French space balloon start-up Zephalto has started taking reservations for the flights to the stratosphere aboard a hydrogen and helium filled balloon.
The space balloon effort has already received approval from the French Space Agency, Centre national d’études spatiales.
The starting cost of the tickets for this six-hour ride to the stratosphere will be approximately $132,000 per passenger, Bloomberg confirmed in a report.
Scheduled to take-off from France in 2025, the balloon will carry a total of six passengers.
Current plans suggest that a capsule fitted underneath Zephalto’s space balloon will carry six passengers and two pilots on a 90-minute ride, at an altitude of nearly 25km, which is three times higher than commercial air traffic.
After reaching the desired altitude, the balloon will hover, allowing the passengers to enjoy the view for about three hours before commencing its 90-minute journey back to Earth.
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“We choose 25km 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. You’re in the darkness of space, but without the zero gravity experience,” Zephalto founder and aerospace engineer Vincent Farret d’Astiès told Bloomberg.
The company has already completed three test flights with pilots onboard, However, none of the flights have been able to reach the desired 25km altitude.
Zephalto is expecting to achieve this mark during the next flight test, scheduled to take place later this year.
Going forward, Zephalto is planning at least 60 flights every year.
Notably, the altitude at which Zephalto’s space balloon will fly is comparatively lower than its competitors’, including Blue Origin, flights, which has taken its passengers beyond the ‘Kármán line’, a boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.