Exploring a New Frontier with a New World View
We here at Impakter Magazine are enamored by the possibilities that lie in space exploration, and World View is one company in particular that stands out in our mind as pioneers of a new frontier. World View gives passengers a new affordable way to access nearspace in comfortable high-altitude space balloons, bringing ideas of the future to the here and now. This past week, we got a chance to interview World View’s CEO, Jane Poynter, in order to learn more about the company’s mission and goals. We cannot wait to send one of our columnist’s up on this life-altering journey!
Q. What is the main reason World View chooses space trips over deep sea trips?
A major reason we started World View was to give people the chance to see Earth from above and feel a visceral connection to the planet. World View’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Taber MacCallum and I spent two years and twenty minutes inside Biosphere 2, an environment completely separate from the outside world meant to simulate and test the feasibility of an actual space colony. During this experience, we realized how dependent we were on our miniature biosphere and wanted to help others feel that same connection to their own biosphere, planet Earth.
Q. Is there a large demand for this project and if so, when is the estimated time for the first commercial launch?
We have received a number of reservations from all around the world, including people planning to take their entire family. People are not only very excited about the travel opportunity, but also the ability to affordably conduct research at the edge of space. We’ve already launched our unmanned commercial flight services taking science and educational payloads up to the stratosphere. Manned flights will begin in 2017.
Q. Who are your main competitors and what would you say is World View’s edge over those competitors?
There are other companies attempting to build private spaceflight experiences, but we’re supportive of their efforts. We believe that the industry is at a fruitful beginning, and a rising tide lifts all ships. In fact, we view many of the rocket-based spaceflight companies as complementary offerings because the experiences are so drastically different.
Q. Does World View have any plans for the future after the sight-seeing trips?
Our goal is to make access to the edge of space easy and affordable for everyone – private citizens, scientists and educators alike. We will continue to develop and innovate to make this happen.
Q. When would trips to space become less expensive and more accessible to the everyday citizen?
Today, our tickets are already lower when compared to other spaceflight companies, but the goal is to make this life-changing experience available to as many people as possible. Doing this will take time as technologies develop and more innovations are made.
Q. Is there a specific legal/government criteria that you must abide by and communicate to while ascending and descending?
World View’s vehicle has been classified as a spacecraft by the FAA, making it fall under the jurisdiction of The Office of Commercial Space Flight under 52 U.S.C. Chapter 509. This means World View abides by all the same regulations as other commercial space travel operations.
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