Meet the 'bloon': Hot air balloon rides in to space by 2013

Ruth Doherty
Meet the 'bloom': Hot air balloon rides in to space by 2013
Meet the 'bloom': Hot air balloon rides in to space by 2013

inbloon.com



A helium balloon that can reach the Earth's stratosphere will give people the opportunity to become 'space tourists' - by 2013.

The 'bloon' can climb to a height of 36km (22 miles), offering wannabe-astronauts the chance to view the curvature of the earth, watch the sun rise across the planet and gaze into space.

A cabin with room for four passengers and two pilots is attached to a huge 129-metre diameter helium balloon.

The 'bloon' is the brainchild of Spanish entrepreneur Jose Lopez-Urdiales, who says: 'Going up into the earth's stratosphere in a balloon is a lot cheaper than doing it by rocket. You get to spend much more time high above and there is no engine noise.

'It will be an unforgettable experience.'

Meet the 'bloom': Hot air balloon rides in to space by 2013
Meet the 'bloom': Hot air balloon rides in to space by 2013

inbloon.com



The bloon can reach three times higher than the standard cruising altitude of an airplane and a round trip lasts around three hours - with an hour for ascending and descending.

When the first commercial flights take place in 2013, it will cost space tourists around £90,000 per person per trip.

So £35,000 less than Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's space flights - but you do get to go on a bonefide space ship...