MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – A private company in Beijing is planning to build a high-altitude balloon to take people 40 kilometers (25 miles) above the earth to the brink of the planet's atmosphere, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
According to the Chinese company heading the project, Spacevision, plans are still in the "design phase" and outline the method that would transport passengers via a pressurized capsule to extreme heights and views, in addition to a brief moment of reduced gravity. The balloon will be filled with nontoxic and nonflammable helium and descend by parachute, the news agency said.
Passengers would each have their own parachutes and jumpsuits supplied with oxygen for safety measures. Although the price of a seat on the space balloon ride has not been determined, a similar project from US-based World View Enterprises, charges some $75,000 per person.
A Chinese space expert claimed the project could face a multitude of delays due to safety laws and the government's regulations over civilian air space. A space scientist from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics said the government has recently shown an interest in private space ventures, but agreed that military and safety concerns could hinder plans.
Spacevision claims to be the first private company in China to offer space tourism, according to its website. The start-up’s president, Jiang Fang has recently called on lawmakers to draft legislation on private space endeavors that would support the development of the company's extreme balloon project.