Monday May 20th, 2024
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Space Tourism Firm HALO Plans Orbital Experiences From Saudi

The helium balloon-powered ascents will afford would-be astronauts life-changing views of Earth from above for USD 164,000.

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Space Tourism Firm HALO Plans Orbital Experiences From Saudi

Space tourism firm HALO has announced that ‘near-space’ orbital experiences will soon be launching from its hub in Saudi Arabia, sending would-be astronauts 35 kilometres above the surface of the earth.

The company has scheduled a sixth test flight for this June, in a significant step for the stratospheric commercial flight provider. Following a rigorous schedule of safety tests, HALO expects to begin offering commercial flights to the public in 2026, with a starting price of USD 164,000. This may seem like a steep price, but it is significantly less expensive than existing offerings; a 90-minute sub-orbital flight with Virgin Galactic will set you back USD 450,000.

HALO has set itself a high bar in more ways than one, also aiming to bring 10,000 humans to space by the end of the decade, far enough from the planet to enjoy the Overview Effect - the blue halo around the visibly curvature of the Earth.

The company has achieved its low-cost, high reward flights by using helium balloon-powered ascent, instead of traditional rockets or planes. Ascent by balloon is gradual, with no extreme acceleration of G-forces, and the slow climb means even more time to enjoy life-changing views of our home from above. Flights will last between four and six hours, including one to two hours at maximum altitude, 35 kilometres up.


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