Firm to offer balloon rides from Alaska to the edge of space

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A view of the Earth from the ISS. (Photo: NASA)

ANCHORAGE, AK (AP) — A company wants to use an advanced balloon to fly customers from Earth’s surface in Alaska to the highest reaches of the planet’s atmosphere.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Florida-based startup firm Space Perspective plans to use the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak to serve as one of the launch sites for the vehicle, called the Spaceship Neptune.

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The balloon rides will be manned by a flight crew taking eight passengers in a pressurized capsule suspended beneath a hydrogen balloon the size of a football stadium.

Each passenger could pay an estimated $125,000 for a six-hour journey.