World View balloon venture picks chief pilot

Image: Ron Garan
NASA astronaut Ron Garan floats in the International Space Station’s Cupola in 2011. (Credit: NASA)

Former astronaut Ron Garan has a new vantage point for sharing what he calls “the Orbital Perspective”: his position as chief pilot for World View Enterprises.

Arizona-based World View wants to give passengers a near-space experience, by sending them up in a pressurized capsule that’s lofted to heights beyond 100,000 feet by a high-altitude balloon. During a leisurely ascent to the atmosphere, passengers would get a space-like view of the Earth below, with the black arc of space above. Then the capsule would be cut loose from the balloon for a parachute-assisted descent and landing.

Cost for the trip? $75,000.

Garan told GeekWire that his job will be to ensure the “safe accomplishment of all aspects” of flight – not only for the passenger flights in the future, but for the remote-controlled flights that are going on now.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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