Friday, 19 Aug, 2011 Technology

Bloon Balloon - Eco-Friendly Way of Travelling into Near-Space


The company called zero2infinity with headquarters in Barcelona has recently proposed an eco-friendly way of travelling into near-space. They say that the trip could be performed using a balloon filled with helium that the company designed.

According to zero2infinity, the Bloon Balloon is able to take passengers to an altitude of 36 kilometers (22 miles).

It would be interesting to note that in 2010 the firm performed a test flight of its balloon that reached an altitude of 33 kilometers (20 miles).

The real passenger flight is expected to take place sometime between the year 2013 and 2015 and zero2infinity is already taking bookings. The price per passenger is 110,000 euro (approx. US$158,000).

It is worth mentioning that the balloon is made of high sail measuring 129 meters (423 ft) in diameter and being 96.5 meters (316 ft) high. The sail is attached to a pod with room that can fit 4 passengers and 2 pilots.

The pod is 4.2 meter (13.7 ft) in diameter and has several panoramic windows to allow passengers to enjoy the view of the Earth. However, before the launch, passengers will have to pass a 2-hour training session in which they will get acknowledged with the balloon's safety systems.

To reach an altitude of 36 kilometers the balloon with require about an hour. During the ascend passengers will be able to enjoy a meal. The trip will last a couple of hours and then the balloon will start its descent by releasing helium from the sail. After about an hour the sail will be detached and the pod will start falling back to Earth. In about 10 minutes the pod will deploy a parasail that will guide it for about half-an-hour to one of the pre-set landing spots.

The company also plans to use its invention for climate research.

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