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      CommentAuthorliamshiels
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009 edited
     (7394.1)
    When you compare the heights reached by Joseph Kittinger in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior (joseph kittinger jumped at approx 100,000ft) to those planned to be reached by Virgin Galactic (planned flights at 70,000ft) one has to ask: why go up in a jet when you can go up in a balloon?

    Now, I'm no expert, but I'd hazard that building a balloon to go to those heights and return would be a fraction of the price of going by jet/rocket/whatever the White Knight II is.

    Other than comfort and speed, what am I missing here? What's the reason we don't have space tourists going up and down in balloons?
  1.  (7394.2)
    A direct abort on a balloon flight is what we technically term a "plummet."
  2.  (7394.3)
    I've always thought that doing a parachute jump from 100,000ft would be really good fun. Somehow the idea of free falling at Mach .9 with a drogue chute behind me appeals to my inner lunatic.

    Of course I'm not a millionaire and lack the technical skills/experience and physical fitness to do such a thing. That might be another set of reasons why the balloon option isn't considered more.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009
     (7394.4)
    I don't believe you get the "zero G" effect with a balloon.

    Well, unless a plummet is involved.
    • CommentAuthorKelind
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009 edited
     (7394.5)
    Heh... "plummet"

    Balloon use for fun and profit always brings to mind my favorite Darwin Award Honorable Mention, Lawn Chair Larry.

    http://www.darwinawards.com/stupid/stupid1998-11.html
  3.  (7394.6)
    "Other than comfort and speed, what am I missing here? What's the reason we don't have space tourists going up and down in balloons? "

    Because it's easier to con people into thinking a plane that just barely reaches what is technically defined as "space" is a real spaceship.