Company successfully tests space tourism balloon

A view of the Earth. (File) (NASA/Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/24 2:29 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Arizona company said Tuesday that it has successfully completed the first scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule that are being developed to take tourists to the edge of space.

World View Enterprises of Tucson said Tuesday that it launched the flight last week from Roswell, New Mexico.

CEO Jane Poynter said the system broke the world record for highest parafoil flight, lifting a payload one-tenth of what is planned for passenger flight to 120,000 feet.

Poynter said the company is still planning to begin its $75,000 per-person flights in 2016. The balloons will lift a capsule carrying six passengers to about 100,000, where they will float for about two hours.

She said the company hasn't yet decided where its operations will be based, although Spaceport America in New Mexico is among the options.

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