The space tourism industry hasn't sent many paying tourists into space yet. But it's getting close. And as it begins to mature it will be a huge industry worth an estimated $1 billion in the next 10 years, according to the U.S. government
The latest player in the blossoming industry -- alongside the likes of billionaire businessmen Elon Musk (SpaceX
) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic
) -- is World View Enterprises
, an Arizona-based company that wants to send people to the edge of space in high-altitude balloons. The idea, as Wall Street Journal reports
, is to provide a space-like experience (though at an altitude of 100,000 feet it won't be a weightless one) without the training (and costs) needed to send someone to space.
With a projected ticket price of $75,000, the goal is "bringing space to the masses as much as we can," said Taber MacCallum, Paragon's chief executive and co-founder. Revenue flights won't commence until 2016 at the earliest, while testing or regulatory complications could push that deadline out further.
It might be a "budget" space tourism experience but it still looks pretty amazing. Click through the photos to see what a $75,000 high-altitude balloon trip gets you.