STRATOSPHERIC BALLOON TOURS
A spaceflight startup called The Space Perspective is offering Earth tours from space and hopes to establish a launch site in Hawai’i. Using a space capsule tethered to a stratospheric balloon, the company provides paying customers with a spectacular view of Earth from the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. The service is intended primarily for space tourists, but Space Perspective will also accommodate scientific research and educational projects aboard its flights.
The first operational balloon tours will begin in 2024 and the company has already booked a year of flights in advance. About 100 flights will be launched per year from each launch site. In Hawaiʻi, a launch site would require a manufacturing facility and flight maintenance center, providing about 200 jobs with annual salaries of more than $60,000.
We are working to facilitate and support a launch site in Hawaiʻi. Space tours would add an entirely new dimension to the mainstay tourism industry. On average, our state draws more than 10 million visitors seeking to experience the Aloha Spirit, incredible beaches, tropical climate and luxurious resorts. A trip to the upper stratosphere would be an unforgettable addition to any Hawaiʻi vacation.
Artist rendering of passengers aboard “Spaceship Neptune” overlooking Earth. Credit: The Space Perspective