The ultimate hot air balloon: Capsule that can take brave (and wealthy) explorers into Earth's stratosphere to launch in two years
A helium balloon that will take enterprising travellers into Earth's stratosphere is due to take off in just two years.
The 'Bloon' will climb to a height of 22miles thanks to a huge balloon measuring 420ft in diameter.
The five-hour experience would cost an astronomical £90,000 per person but would offer 'space tourists' the chance to glimpse the curvature of the Earth.
Conditions on the 'near-spaceship' should be fairly comfortable as the pressurised pod, which is 13ft in diameter, would offer plenty of space for the two pilots and up to four guests. The room temperature would allow visitors to be in 'shirt sleeves.'
On 'their trip of a lifetime' visitors would experience a three-hour cruise at an altitude where they could watch the Sun dawning over our planet.
Then the sail would be vented and descend until the sail separated from the pod. A parachute would then deploy to fly the pod back to Earth.
The pod, due to fly its first mission in 2013, is the brainchild of Spanish company Zero 2 Infinity.
They claim is can be flown 25miles in any direction to safely guide it to a predetermined landing site.
Entrepreneur and CEO Jose Mariano Lopez-Urdiales said he was inspired to do the project while having a conversation with his astronomer father.
Going up: The pod holding two pilots and up to four guests will ascend thanks to a helium balloon 420ft in diameter