It’s not quite travelling to a new frontier but a Chinese firm is planning to take earthlings to the edge of space before parachuting them back home.
Space Vision, a Beijing-based space technology company, is due to start tests this summer and wants to recruit volunteers to see how well the parachutes work. According to the China Daily newspaper, the first three brave volunteers have stepped forward. One is a female champion parachutist, while an aircraft engineer and an entrepreneur make up the rest of the test group. They will wear specially designed suits as they climb up to the stratosphere in a balloon before gliding back to earth.
It hasn’t yet been disclosed how high the balloons will reach before the volunteers make their jump. The founder and president of Space Vision, Jiang Fang, told China Daily he is hopeful the trip will open the door to more space tourism opportunities. He envisages that they will build a path for people to get used to space travel. It has been estimated that the initial parachute trips into space will cost in the region of US$77,000.