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World View launches stratospheric balloons
October 8, 2017, 5:04 pm

The inaugural launch of a stratospheric balloon by startup launch company World View, took place on 30 September from their headquarters in Tucson, Arizona in the US.

World View aims to carve out a niche territory in commercial space business by launching super high altitude balloons that can operate at stratosphere altitude, beyond the upper edge of Earth’s atmosphere. The balloons, which cost substantially less than low-Earth Orbit satellites, could be used for long-term site observation, weather monitoring, and even defense applications.

The company, which handcrafts its gigantic stratospheric balloons at its Tucson plant, on what is one of the longest continuous tables in the world, said that eventually their balloons could even be deployed with a passenger pod for use by stratosphere tourists and science crews.

World View CEO Jane Poynter said that the first launch from Tucson was “another important milestone in our series of Stratollite development and demonstration missions, which are helping us perfect our overall technology and operations as we move closer to a routine long-duration, station-keeping Stratollite platform.”

The company recently celebrated a milestone with a record 27-hour flight for one of its balloons, but eventually World View hopes to be able to run commercial operations where its balloons can remain aloft for months at a time.

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