Space tourism comes to Tucson with a view of the world

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — At 90, Star Trek fame William Shatner soared into space aboard the Blue Origin rocket. It was a round trip, but it left a strong impression on Shatner.

“What you gave me was the deepest experience you could imagine,” Shatner told Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos. “I’m so emotional about what just happened, extraordinary.”

It’s a feeling more and more Americans will begin to feel in the months and years to come, as civilian space travel has become a reality and many more are on the way.

“We started taking bookings last Monday,” said Ryan Hartman, president and CEO of space company World View. “As of this morning, we are already at 450 reservations.

Enough to keep their schedule busy for a year.

World View, starting in 2024, will take people to “near space” and not outer space for $50,000.

The half-dozen passengers per flight will spend six to eight hours in a capsule where they will hover between earth and space at 100,000 feet, which is a profound experience.

“The excitement that it created, you know people are thrilled that it’s a reality,” Hartman said. “Our role in all of this is to make it accessible.”

Although it may be a bit pricey initially, as more people enter the market and space travel becomes more common, the prices will drop, making it more accessible in the future. .

“I don’t want it to be a thrill ride, I don’t want it to be something that’s a big adrenaline rush of 6G on launch and 5G on re-entry,” he said. declared. “It’s something people can feel how calm and smooth it can be.”

World View first introduced the idea of ​​space tourism to Tucson in 2016 when the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to build and lease a $15 million launch pad facility to the company.

There was a lot of skepticism that people would pay to go into space, but since Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin started taking ordinary people into space, the skeptics are no longer in doubt.

“It’s the only solution where you see the earth, see the curvature of the earth, see the darkness of space,” he said. “There’s no other way to do it than World View.”

Hartman says his company doesn’t compete with Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin, but improves the market by giving those who want the experience a different alternative.

A quiet ride as opposed to a rocket. But the goal is the same: a profound experience.

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