The Ball Street Journal

The Student News Site of Ball High School

The Ball Street Journal

The Ball Street Journal

Reach for the Stars

All It Takes is Money!

The tourism industry keeps finding new ways to share the world around us, with the US company Space Perspective wanting to bring run-of-the-mill civilians up above the earth. Advertising itself as “the world’s only carbon-neutral spaceship”, Spaceship Neptune uses a balloon with technology previously used by NASA attached to a capsule to reach their ideal height of 18 miles above sea level, offering a once in a lifetime view.

Flights are not cheap, with the company charging $125,000 per seat. The question is, is the price worth the 6 hours of airtime? Some people think so, as rockets are not part of the program. Instead, hydrogen is used to inflate the balloon, turning away from helium as there is an ongoing shortage. At such a high cost, the opportunity is truly once in a lifetime.

One of the founders, Jane Poynter, truly believes in science. “I will be on one of those flights because I’m not not going to let the public go on it until I’ve been on it,” says Poynter. “Then we’ll be ready for commercial operation.” Mrs. Poynter and her husband Taber MacCallum have been interested in space for years, going so far as to living in an environment mimicking a potential Mars colony for a solid 2 years straight from 1991 to 1993. Although they both never went to college, they are trying to change the future for the better. The couple’s love of space brought them close to begin with, and it continues to bring them closer together.

Poynter and MacCallum aren’t the only ones attempting space tourism. SpaceX is testing their own version with rockets, although it’s 55 million dollars more expensive than Space Perspective’s balloon. The future of space travel is bright and competitive. Who knows what it will look like in 50 years?

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