Very expensive balloon ride promises quite a view

– It’s still expensive, but this could be the cheapest option for space tourists yet. The company Space Perspective plans to bring people into Earth’s stratosphere in a giant balloon with a pressurized cabin, reports. The cost? $ 125,000 per seat. The journey would take about six hours, a leisurely descent of about 12 miles per hour, followed by two hours in the stratosphere and then the journey home. The globe would end about 19 miles above Earth’s surface, which, like Smithsonian He notes that “it is not technically an outer space, but high enough to see the curvature of the Earth and the darkness of the space that extends beyond.”

The company has more details on the proposed flights here. The first test flights are supposed to take off next year, but no passenger is likely to board for at least three years, reports CBS News. This could attract people for whom a rocket flight seems too extreme. “He’s very gentle,” says Jane Poynter of Space Perspective New York Times. “It is much less dynamic than a rocket-based flight. I know there are a lot of people who can’t or don’t want to go on a rocket, but they really want to go into space. “Bonus: It’s about half the price Virgin Galactic plans to charge for a seat on one of its ships. (Read more stories stratosphere).