Here is the cheapest space tourism ticket

The “New Space Race” offers breathtaking potential for investors. From extracting valuable resources to satellites that help us as mere earthlings with climate change, maritime operations, communications, energy and even world hunger, we can see why corporations are investing billion in this exciting new frontier.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES

But it’s space tourism which is making headlines these days, thanks to the billionaires who are fighting.

SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos and Galactic Virgo‘s Richard Branson offer experiences that vary greatly in duration and altitude. But the costs — reportedly around $450,000 for a 90-minute ride on Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane to $55 million for a three-day orbit in a SpaceX capsule — are way beyond the reach of , well, you and me.

But if $50,000 seems doable (funding available), you might consider World View’s solution: a 6-12 hour trip in a pressurized capsule lifted to the edge of space by a giant balloon. The first launches are planned for 2024 from various “spaceports” around the world.

The South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas featured an entire track dedicated to space technology for the first time, including “Democratizing Access to Commercial Space Travel.”

There, I spoke with World View CEO Ryan Hartman inside his company’s replica space capsule. In the video below, Ryan talks about World View’s vision to bring a life-changing experience to the masses, as well as other New Space Race ventures that may be worth considering by investors.

Transcription:

Rex Moore: Alright Ryan, here we are inside the World View space capsule. Explain this to me a bit; what someone might expect if they became a space tourist and used your business.

Ryan Hartman: Well, thanks for being there. It’s an exact replica of our space capsule. We call it Explorer. What you see here is the structure around customer experience. We designed this to really optimize how a customer can enjoy viewing space. When a customer flies on World View, they will climb over 100,000 feet. They will be able to see the curvature of the Earth. They’re going to be able to see the darkness of space, much like what you see on the screens here. What is more important is that they will be able to see an area that they have just explored. The World View Space Tourism solution begins with a spaceport. It starts with coming to one of our seven wonders of the stratospheric state of the world. Some places like Spaceport Grand Canyon, Spaceport Great Barrier Reef explore this area and then see it from above.

Rex Moore: Tell me, why do you think it’s important to make space travel accessible to more people?

Ryan Hartman: Well, World View exists to inspire, create and explore new perspectives for a radically improved future. It really embodies the importance of space tourism. So when we say inspiring new perspectives, it’s about creating opportunities for guests to understand the fragility of the Earth, to understand the beauty of the Earth, and really to transform space tourism into eco-tourism. “For a radically improved future”, I think he epitomizes why we are all into space tourism. All companies are in space tourism. That is to say, the more people we can offer this experience to, the more people will have a new respect for our planet. They will become Earth Defenders and embody the importance of caring for our Earth.

Rex Moore: Your solution is an inexpensive way. How do people get involved if they are interested?

Ryan Hartman: Yes. Our solution is a $50,000 note with a $500 deposit. We offer available funding, all of which is available on worldview.space, where customers can review the experiences available to them, across our seven spaceports around the world. They can watch technology and even preview their flight on worldview.space.

Rex Moore: World View is involved in more than tourism. Tell me about the sensor part.

Ryan Hartman: The technology we have is applicable to many different use cases. Space tourism is really exciting. But there’s another very important use case and that’s remote sensing, the ability to provide information about what’s happening on our Earth. We therefore use our stratospheric balloons coupled with different types of sensors to collect data, analyze this data and provide information to customers. This applies to oil and gas industries, electric utility industries, defense and intelligence customers, and a number of other commercial use cases. Doing the work that we do in remote sensing is just another way to provide a fresh, inspired perspective that can contribute to a radically improved future for these clients as well.

Rex Moore: What kind of potential do you see now, as the world is more and more interested now, with the billionaires who have been advertising it, right? What is the potential for investors?

Ryan Hartman: Well, one of the things that’s really exciting is space, it’s the next trillion dollar industry. There are a number of different companies, a number of different types of applications that create value for investors. Companies like ours that have both remote sensing and space tourism, there are now companies on the Nasdaq that are space tourism companies. And the number of different commercial space companies that exist today that are public is incredibly exciting and it will only grow in the future. Looking at it as a trillion dollar economy, looking at it as the next big market, I think that’s really exciting because there’s a ton of growth ahead of it.

Rex Moore: Do you have in mind some companies that you admire in a way that you think could benefit?

Ryan Hartman: Well, for me, I’m excited about any company that operates in the commercial space. There are all kinds of different companies like world spire (Nasdaq: SPIR) and Planet Labs (Nasdaq: PL) that are entirely dedicated to remote sensing, which are now publicly traded companies. I’m excited about companies like Galactic Virgo (Nasdaq: SPCE) that are specifically into space tourism, and pristine orbit (Nasdaq: VORB). All of these businesses represent the wide range of different types of space businesses or space use cases. I’m excited about all of them. I think there is growth in front of all these companies. Space is a great place to invest.

Rex Moore: Great. Last question, where is the toilet in there? [LAUGHTER]

Ryan Hartman: Behind you. [LAUGHTER] The space capsule itself, what you see here is the customer experience, but the capsule is designed to carry 8 passengers, 2 crew, for a total of 10. There will be a bar, there will be meals available, and of course, there will be toilets.

Rex Moore: Great. Thanks Ryan.

Ryan Hartman: You’re welcome.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a high-end advice service Motley Fool. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and wealthier.

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