What is a ‘bloon’? It’s a near-space flight that takes you to the edge of the atmosphere, now bookable at a price tag of €110,000 and lifting off as early as 2016 (or 2017 at the latest).
The journey takes approximately four hours, commencing with a countdown to vertical lift-off lasting about 10 minutes, as the bloon begins its ascent from the Earth’s surface to an altitude of 36km. At this point the bloon cruises at a constant altitude, providing spectacular views of the planet. Finally, there is the venting phase, which enables the bloon to descend onto its predefined landing area for sail separation.
So, why use a balloon for this exciting flight experience? According to the company, there are three reasons: ‘Safety, experience and environmental impact. The oldest type of flying machine known, the balloon, is inherently safer than other forms of high-altitude flight. By using a pod with a balloon we create a softer and more pleasant journey. A balloon also allows us to float and view the Earth for hours, and we will provide you with all the time you need to fully enjoy your epic voyage. In the end, though, it is not enough just to provide amazing views of Earth. Thanks to our balloon system, we do it with zero emissions.’
Bloon is still undergoing intensive testing to ensure and certify the system’s safety. The company is currently based in Spain, but the system would allow for it to operate anywhere that is neither too cloudy nor lacking in impressive landscapes.
Passengers will also be able to tailor their experience in terms of features such as level of gravity: ‘Zero gravity can be very exciting, especially in small doses,’ Bloon quips. They can even tailor the flight with options like flying with a retired professional astronaut to enjoying a Michelin-star menu!
Each bloon is capable of holding four travellers and two pilots; children are also permitted aboard. To reserve, simply provide contact details, ideal flight dates and a full or partial deposit.