If you've ever wanted to visit space but don't exactly want to become an astronaut in order to do it, you may soon be in luck. That's because a new helium balloon ride could send you soaring to new heights, up to 100,000 feet in the air, to be precise.
The World View air balloon project comes courtesy of Paragon, maker of equipment for the International Space Station. World View is a pressurized, four-ton capsule that is capable of accommodating up to eight passengers for safe space flight. The helium-filled balloon will be piloted to a predetermined landing spot using a parafoil after the flight to ensure a safe landing. In the capsule, riders will be able to see the Earth from space in its entirety for a total of two hours, with plenty of room to move around freely in the cabin.
Though the World View isn't able to fly high enough for passengers to achieve weightlessness, the ride is a lot cheaper at $75,000 per person than the $250,000 ticket for the rocket-powered Virgin Galactic, if you don't care about floating around in space like a real astronaut. Plus, the ability to Instagram the Earth from over 100,000 feet up and bragging rights seem to justify a helium-powered space ride.
Paragon is currently undergoing more quality-control tests and regulations before opening for the public, but trips for the World View helium balloon could start as soon as 2016, so start saving up, up, and away!