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World View shows off its Stratollite scheme

World View HQ
The 100-foot-high red tower at World View’s headquarters plays a part in testing the parasail for the company’s hybrid balloon platform for stratospheric observations. (World View Photo)

World View Enterprises declared its Tucson headquarters and its hybrid balloon technology to be ready for prime time today, in the wake of a pathfinder mission that captured satellite-type imagery from a stratospheric height of nearly 77,000 feet.

“This technology, sending high-altitude balloons up into the stratosphere, has essentially at this point, with the opening of this building, opened an entire new world of business and aviation,” said former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, World View’s director of flight crew operations.

World View CEO Jane Poynter said the key to the technology is the ability to control the company’s uncrewed “Stratollites” remotely to make them ascend or descend, hover over one spot for months at a time, or fly on a course around the world.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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