Hot air balloon latest venture in space tourism

WASHINGTON — The latest space tourism venture depends more on hot air than rocket science.

World View Enterprises announced plans Tuesday to send people up 19 miles in a capsule, lifted by a high-altitude balloon. Company CEO Jane Poynter said the price for spending a couple of hours looking down at the curve of the Earth will be $75,000.

But it’s not quite space. Space starts at 62 miles.

Still, the plan requires approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial space. She said it uses existing technology and the first launch could be as early as the end of 2016.

The same team last February proposed a private venture to send a married couple to Mars in 2018.

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