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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Commercial Space Flight General => Topic started by: sanman on 10/26/2014 01:31 am

Title: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: sanman on 10/26/2014 01:31 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxif3w55Phk


http://worldviewexperience.com/

Founded by Taber McCallum and Jane Poynter of Paragon SDC, World View is planning to offer balloon rides to the edge of space, potentially allowing customers to skydive ("space jump") back to Earth from unprecedentedly high altitudes:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/10/24/world-view-acquires-technology-record-breaking-jump/

What are the prospects for this market?

The technology seems doable, as demonstrated by Alan Eustace thru his space jump, using equipment apparently supplied by Paragon.

If this activity takes off - certainly, skydiving is a popular enough sport - then how could it evolve? What could it lead to? What impact could it have on technologies used in genuine orbital spaceflight?

Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: docmordrid on 10/26/2014 06:00 am
The first time I heard of this concept was when Rick Tumlinson and Dr. Jonathan Clark (NASA flight surgeon,  husband of the late Laurel Clark - Columbia) proposed it through Orbital Outfitters in 2007. Written up in Popular Science and elsewhere. It was proposed as both joyride and as a path to a means of bailing out of failing spacecraft during re-entry. Then it popped up in the 2009 Star Trek movie.

http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-space/article/2007-06/high-dive
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Helodriver on 10/26/2014 06:27 am
Was supposed to show up in the 1994 Star Trek Generations movie, but the scene was cut. Youtube has a rough version of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThC1i7dzYaw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThC1i7dzYaw)
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Nomadd on 10/26/2014 12:56 pm
 Not sure if I'd call 40% of the way to space the "edge". The price seems kind of extreme. I don't think you'll be seeing long lines.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 01:09 pm
Wouldn't even consider this part of "spaceflight" and therefore a topic for this forum.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: docmordrid on 10/26/2014 02:15 pm
Commercial suborbital spaceflight is clearly covered by this forum. If this has any potential to become a suborbital  bailout capability, as Orbital Outfitters proposed in 2007, how isn't it a viable subject?
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: ncb1397 on 10/26/2014 02:27 pm
Karman line is an arbitrary distinction. What is the likelihood that the line between the atmosphere and the void(that doesn't really exist) just happens to be exactly 1/100th the distance between the equator and the north pole.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 03:10 pm
Commercial suborbital spaceflight is clearly covered by this forum.

Suborbital by powered vehicles and not balloons.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: arachnitect on 10/26/2014 03:39 pm
We've had a Worldview thread for a while

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33133.0
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: docmordrid on 10/26/2014 04:17 pm
Commercial suborbital spaceflight is clearly covered by this forum.

Suborbital by powered vehicles and not balloons.

Paragon SDC's StratEx page expressly states that one of the goals of this program is spacecraft crew egress. Jane Poynter, Pentagon's Chair and CEO, is co-founder of World View.

http://www.paragonsdc.com/stratex/

Quote
>
Such a system has wide-ranging applications for; the study of the science of the stratosphere, development of means for spaceship crew egress, the study of dynamics of bodies at Mach 1, new high altitude aircraft suits, and setting of records for space diving, sailplaning and ballooning.
>
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: sanman on 10/26/2014 04:25 pm
Even if balloon flight isn't spaceflight, it does have the potential to be used for testing of equipment, and manned balloon flights could perhaps be used to man-rate some technologies by putting them in a near-space environment. When Baumgartner did his space dive, wasn't it mentioned that some of the data being gathered would be used to benefit spacesuit technology? Paragon themselves are specialists in ECLSS, aren't they?
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 04:30 pm
Even if balloon flight isn't spaceflight, it does have the potential to be used for testing of equipment, and manned balloon flights could perhaps be used to man-rate some technologies by putting them in a near-space environment.

Nothing that couldn't be done in a vacuum chamber which is cheaper and safer.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 04:32 pm
development of means for spaceship crew egress,

Highly improbable usage.  Much like the shuttle egress, which was more placation vs actual crew safety
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: docmordrid on 10/26/2014 04:36 pm
Even if balloon flight isn't spaceflight, it does have the potential to be used for testing of equipment, and manned balloon flights could perhaps be used to man-rate some technologies by putting them in a near-space environment.

Nothing that couldn't be done in a vacuum chamber which is cheaper and safer.

Vacuum chambers aren't the really real world. Even suborbital suit re-entries may have unexpected thermal effects to be tested, regardless if the occupant is wetware or an insteumented test dummy. Sooner or later you have to test like you fly
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 04:42 pm

1.  Vacuum chambers aren't the really real world.
Even suborbital suit re-entries may have unexpected thermal effects to be tested, regardless if the occupant is wetware or an insteumented test dummy.
2.  Sooner or later you have to test like you fly®

1.  Neither are balloon flights
2.  and using balloon flights for testing orbital suits is quite the opposite of test like you fly.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Eerie on 10/26/2014 05:14 pm
Karman line is an arbitrary distinction. What is the likelihood that the line between the atmosphere and the void(that doesn't really exist) just happens to be exactly 1/100th the distance between the equator and the north pole.

Kármán line is not arbitrary. And you could find it out in 15 seconds by checking Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: docmordrid on 10/26/2014 05:40 pm

1.  Vacuum chambers aren't the really real world.
Even suborbital suit re-entries may have unexpected thermal effects to be tested, regardless if the occupant is wetware or an insteumented test dummy.
2.  Sooner or later you have to test like you fly®

1.  Neither are balloon flights
2.  and using balloon flights for testing orbital suits is quite the opposite of test like you fly.

Balloons are a lot close to a suborbital dive than a vacuum chamber, and design iteration gets them to their goal. Different strokes.
.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: ncb1397 on 10/26/2014 06:00 pm
Karman line is an arbitrary distinction. What is the likelihood that the line between the atmosphere and the void(that doesn't really exist) just happens to be exactly 1/100th the distance between the equator and the north pole.

Kármán line is not arbitrary. And you could find it out in 15 seconds by checking Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line

Karman line is the line where a lifting body vehicle will have to travel faster than orbital velocity to support itself. What are the assumptions present within this calculation? Does the Karman line reflect recent advances in material science like carbon fiber that allows you to build larger lighter wings or potentially future exotic materials like carbon nanotubes. And why this should be used for the defination of outer space is another arbitrary benchmark. We could just as easily use an atmospheric density of 1 particle per cubic micrometer which would be just as arbitrary.

I would suggest that if this doesn't qualify as a space topic, neither does a rover on Mars. Perhaps the cruise phase of the vehicle that delivered the payload but the rover is within a planetary atmosphere.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: R7 on 10/26/2014 06:10 pm
Kármán line is not arbitrary. And you could find it out in 15 seconds by checking Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line

And if you read the article it confirms it's arbitrary. The definition neglects centrifugal force and contains wing loading, a value which can and surely has improved since the 1950s due to advances in material sciences.

Oh well, nbc1397 beat me to it.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/26/2014 06:28 pm
Can the 'capsule' and ECLSS work in the vacuum of space?

Could it form part of a Moon or Mars vehicle?
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Jim on 10/26/2014 08:13 pm

I would suggest that if this doesn't qualify as a space topic, neither does a rover on Mars. Perhaps the cruise phase of the vehicle that delivered the payload but the rover is within a planetary atmosphere.

A rover on Mars is off planet and is in "space".  Balloons are still within the earth's atmosphere.  A mars balloon would be a worthy discussion. 
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: sanman on 10/27/2014 03:31 am
Fine, it's not "real spaceflight", just like sending people to live in some isolated enclosure in Antarctica or on the upper slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawaii isn't a "real Mars mission". But neither do they take away from real spaceflight activities, and might in some ways whet the appetites of people for the real thing. Floating up so high, you've got just about everything except the weightlessness.

Since JP Aerospace showcased their ballooning expertise with their Ascender idea, I wonder if they'd consider offering these kinds of balloon flights to would-be space tourists.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: QuantumG on 10/27/2014 03:34 am
A rover on Mars is off planet and is in "space". 

We're all in space, man. Did you perhaps mean "outer space". :)

I'm glad that XCOR (and perhaps Virgin Galactic too) have decided to start flying (and selling seats on) vehicles they can actually achieve, even if it doesn't fit some arbitrary definition. If customers are willing to buy, sell it to them!

Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Prober on 10/27/2015 03:21 pm
Guess some news has come out on this ...

World View successfully completed a major milestone test flight on October 24th, 2015, keeping the company on track to meet its 2017 goal for manned private flights to the edge of space. This test flight carried a scaled down, replica spacecraft to a final altitude of 100,475 feet (30,624 meters), successfully marking the transition from sub-scale testing to a historical next stage of development – full scale testing.

http://worldviewexperience.com/photos/
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: catdlr on 10/27/2015 06:54 pm
October 24, 2015: Milestone 10% Scale Test Flight

Published on Oct 26, 2015
World View, the commercial spaceflight company, has successfully completed a major milestone test flight, keeping the company on track to meet its 2017 goal for manned private flights to the edge of space. This test flight carried a scaled down, replica spacecraft to a final altitude of 100,475 feet (30624 meters), successfully marking the transition from sub-scale testing to a historical next stage of development – full scale testing.

World View is a space experience launching in 2017 that presents a drastically different approach to the adrenaline-laced rocket ride we think of today. World View will have its Voyagers, planet earth's new class of discerning explorers, gliding peacefully along the edge of space for a two-hour sailing-like experience within a luxury capsule transported via high-altitude balloon.

WEBSITE:
http://www.worldviewexperience.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-PpJHKHAQc

Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: meekGee on 10/28/2015 06:32 pm
October 24, 2015: Milestone 10% Scale Test Flight

Published on Oct 26, 2015
World View, the commercial spaceflight company, has successfully completed a major milestone test flight, keeping the company on track to meet its 2017 goal for manned private flights to the edge of space. This test flight carried a scaled down, replica spacecraft to a final altitude of 100,475 feet (30624 meters), successfully marking the transition from sub-scale testing to a historical next stage of development – full scale testing.

World View is a space experience launching in 2017 that presents a drastically different approach to the adrenaline-laced rocket ride we think of today. World View will have its Voyagers, planet earth's new class of discerning explorers, gliding peacefully along the edge of space for a two-hour sailing-like experience within a luxury capsule transported via high-altitude balloon.

WEBSITE:
http://www.worldviewexperience.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-PpJHKHAQc

The video skipped the adrenaline-laced landing...
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Prober on 10/29/2015 09:46 pm
Think we re going to need a bigger balloon  :D
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Kansan52 on 10/29/2015 10:02 pm
What's it look like after it lands?
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/21/2017 10:26 am
Quote
One of the @WorldViewSpace 'Stratolites'  which take scientific equipment to 100,000ft. Behind, a prototype full size passenger module.

https://twitter.com/spenley/status/822735582145220608 (https://twitter.com/spenley/status/822735582145220608)

Spencer Kelly is the lead presenter of the BBC's technology/gadget magazine show called Click. As he appears to have visited Workd View, I imagine they'll be featured in a forthcoming show.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/21/2017 11:42 am
Quote
Would you pay $75,000 for a balloon ride to the edge of space? We got exclusive access to @WorldViewSpace in Tucson, AZ. Only on @BBCClick

https://twitter.com/nickkwek/status/822765896221491201 (https://twitter.com/nickkwek/status/822765896221491201)
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: JAFO on 01/21/2017 07:01 pm
It's an ego/adventure thing. People gotta spend their money some way, for 75k you could have a 1 in 4 chance of dying while climbing Everest, or you could do this and put some money into the aerospace industry.

It's not Space, but it's Aerospace. I've got no problem with it being on the forum.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: meekGee on 01/21/2017 07:53 pm
It's an ego/adventure thing. People gotta spend their money some way, for 75k you could have a 1 in 4 chance of dying while climbing Everest, or you could do this and put some money into the aerospace industry.

It's not Space, but it's Aerospace. I've got no problem with it being on the forum.
Hey, and it gives suborbital firms like VG something to look down on.

Win-win!
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/22/2017 02:50 pm
It's on BBC News24 now. Missed the start myself.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/23/2017 08:27 am
It's on BBC News24 now. Missed the start myself.

The World View balloon was in the News 24 program Click January 22, 2017 issue.

In the UK this can be seen for the next 11 months using BBC iPlayer service.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/28/2017 08:57 pm
Quote
Great feature story on World View by @SPACEdotcom! Check it out here:
http://bit.ly/2mxmSHG

https://twitter.com/worldviewspace/status/836318937625178112 (https://twitter.com/worldviewspace/status/836318937625178112)
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/31/2017 05:36 pm
Quote
Click here for a 360 VR tour of Biosphere 2, our facility, a WV test flight, and trip to the edge of space! http://on.mash.to/2ojrpBy @Within

https://twitter.com/worldviewspace/status/847842942383398913 (https://twitter.com/worldviewspace/status/847842942383398913)
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/20/2017 07:56 pm
Quote
Balloon explodes at Spaceport Tucson, no injuries reported

[…]
"There were no injuries and only superficial facility damage at the site."

http://tucson.com/news/local/balloon-explodes-at-spaceport-tucson-no-injuries-reported/article_6a3b5558-e4fc-11e7-b0d3-97f88bb96b88.amp.html (http://tucson.com/news/local/balloon-explodes-at-spaceport-tucson-no-injuries-reported/article_6a3b5558-e4fc-11e7-b0d3-97f88bb96b88.amp.html)
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Dalhousie on 12/30/2017 04:57 am
Fine, it's not "real spaceflight", just like sending people to live in some isolated enclosure in Antarctica or on the upper slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawaii isn't a "real Mars mission".

They are however research projects designed to work towards real missions.

Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 05:55 am
The Stratollite turned out to be something great.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Sam Ho on 01/03/2018 05:01 am
Quote
Balloon explodes at Spaceport Tucson, no injuries reported

[…]
"There were no injuries and only superficial facility damage at the site."

http://tucson.com/news/local/balloon-explodes-at-spaceport-tucson-no-injuries-reported/article_6a3b5558-e4fc-11e7-b0d3-97f88bb96b88.amp.html (http://tucson.com/news/local/balloon-explodes-at-spaceport-tucson-no-injuries-reported/article_6a3b5558-e4fc-11e7-b0d3-97f88bb96b88.amp.html)

Short video of the incident at the link below. They were reportedly testing hydrogen as the lifting gas.

https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2017/12/20/video-shows-world-view-explosion-sending-flames-into-the-sky/
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/03/2018 06:28 am
Ignition perhaps from static electricity?
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/12/2018 06:37 pm
World View is testing manned near-spaceflight systems, according to Twitter account of the  company:

"Not a bad day at the office, @Astro_Ron! Doing some flight testing on aerodynamic descent systems for Voyager and the Stratollite!"
Title: World View raises money to take people to the edge of space in high-altitude bal
Post by: JQP on 03/31/2018 12:05 pm
World View raises money to take people to the edge of space in high-altitude balloons (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/world-view-series-c-stratosphere-space-company-raises-26-point-5-million.html)

That is a lot of talking without mentioning altitude more than once. I'm guessing they don't talk altitude because they're never gonna get anyone near LEO, but that's just my cynical side talking.

Because if you could get near LEO with balloons, that would be the way to go, down the road. Just float up until you're high enough that a tug could grab you and tow you the rest of the way. And I think I would've heard by now, if balloons were gonna replace rockets.

I suppose I'm objecting to this use of the term, "the edge of space" in the headline.
Title: Re: World View raises money to take people to the edge of space in high-altitude bal
Post by: high road on 03/31/2018 01:21 pm
While I share your skepticism about balloons to space, those are a lot of strawmen in a single post.

Quote
World View intends to use what it learns from Stratollite to launch people in another balloon-lifted craft called Voyager. "We will be flying people in the future but I'd like us to have 100 or more Stratollite flights under our belt first," Poynter said.

Stratollite can fly commercial payloads the size of a small bus to 150,000 feet of altitude, making it possible to quickly and steadily provide services such as weather forecasting, military surveillance or disaster recovery.

Why do they have to say more than this? They're saying the Voyager craft is a long way down the road. So why bother giving specifics of the next craft if they're still tweaking the design of their current craft?

Secondly, LEO is a velocity rather than an altitude. You'd either need a cable that is long and resilient enough to mitigate several km/s difference in speed so the payload and tug survive, a rotovator, or a rocket stage (not a space tug) like zero2infinity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXuU275TObg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXuU275TObg)

Thirdly, given the difficulty of the above, this thing would compete with suborbital tourist rockets like LauncherOne or New Shepard. We still have to see what altitude LauncherOne will eventually be able to achieve. But the important metric here might be price/time spent on said altitude. If you can see something close to 'the black of space', the curvature of the earth, the edge of the atmosphere above the horizen, and what not, and for far longer than the time needed to catch your breath from a few g's of accelleration, that might be enough for tourists to open their wallets.
Title: Re: World View raises money to take people to the edge of space in high-altitude bal
Post by: JQP on 03/31/2018 01:32 pm
Quote
Why do they have to say more than this?

Because the headline said "the edge of space." Which it ain't.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: high road on 03/31/2018 10:45 pm
Well, that's main stream media for you. Hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole. They do this for LauncherOne, which doesn't go a lot higher, as well.  And basically for anything space-related. Or rather: for everything, full stop.
Title: Re: World View (balloon rides to the edge of space)
Post by: gongora on 03/31/2018 10:52 pm
Well, that's main stream media for you. Hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole. They do this for LauncherOne, which doesn't go a lot higher, as well.  And basically for anything space-related. Or rather: for everything, full stop.

I think you mean SpaceShipTwo.  LauncherOne is supposed to go a bit higher.