World View does its first Spaceport Tucson liftoff

Balloon liftoff
A high-altitude balloon is inflated in preparation for World View’s launch from Spaceport Tucson in Arizona. (World View Photo)

World View Enterprises today executed its first balloon liftoff from Spaceport Tucson, the Arizona facility that it expects will be the home base for satellite-like “Stratollite” missions to the stratosphere — and, eventually, tourist flights as well.

“Spaceport Tucson, the first-ever purpose-built stratospheric launch facility in the world, is now open for business,” World View co-founder and CEO Jane Poynter said in a news release.

World View operates the facility on behalf of Arizona’s Pima County, which built the headquarters and production building as well as a 700-foot-wide circular balloon launch pad under the terms of a $15 million deal struck in 2016. That deal has been the subject of legal wrangling for more than a year.

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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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