Flight Brings Us Closer to Balloon-Powered Space Tourism

Megan Logan, for Wired:

The significance of World View’s latest endeavor lies in the downward flight of the parafoil, a fundamental piece of the projected designs its manned tourist expeditions. The company wants to load its passengers into a flight capsule, attach that to a massive (as in roughly-the-size-of-a-football-stadium massive) polyethylene balloon filled with gas, and float them up to the destination altitude. After a leisurely two-hour jaunt through near-space, the capsule will begin its return trip, using the balloon initially and then transitioning to the parafoil to glide back to Earth.

Sign me up.