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The Halo Space capsule that will be launched into the stratosphere with commercial passengers in 2026. RC
Spanish company aims to take tourists into space in a balloon at 150,000 euros a time
Travel

Spanish company aims to take tourists into space in a balloon at 150,000 euros a time

Halo Space's goal is to operate 400 flights a year from launch sites in southern Spain, the United States, Australia and Saudi Arabia and take 3,000 paying passengers a year into the stratosphere

Edurne Martínez

Madrid

Friday, 15 March 2024, 18:27

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Elon Musk's Spanish-style SpaceX. This is how one could broadly define Halo Space, the Spanish company whose aim is to take tourists to "near space" in just two years. The company, founded in 2021 and which will offer zero-emission commercial flights between 25 and 40 kilometres high, has announced that its first flight with paying passengers will be launched in 2026 after having already carried out five successful test flights. The next test flight will be in June from Saudi Arabia.

The eight passengers per flight will be able to observe the curvature of the planet and the vastness of space through panoramic windows on a journey lasting around six hours. This will be made possible by its stratospheric balloon, which is equipped with a pressurised capsule offering a 360-degree view.

The company's goal is to operate 400 flights a year from southern Spain, United States, Australia and Saudi Arabia from 2029 to take 3,000 passengers a year into the stratosphere at 150,000 euros a ticket. In ten years the company expects to take up to 10,000 tourists a year, with simultaneous flights from its various bases. Flight tickets will be available to book by the end of this year or early next year.

One of Halo Space's test flights lands in the California desert.
One of Halo Space's test flights lands in the California desert. RC

Carlos Mira, CEO of Halo Space, said at a press conference that this project is innovative. "There is no one else in the world doing this". The executive emphasised that sustainability is its strong point, second only to safety. The executive acknowledged that the flights are "expensive" but much more affordable than other tourist travel experiences to space which are currently available for a cost that exceeds one million euros. Mira said his companies' flight prices will start to come down after five years of operation.

The capsule is five metres in diameter and 3.5 metres high. This spacious area has the same atmosphere as in a commercial aircraft, so that the space passengers can move or talk in a completely normal way. The descent and landing is done by means of a paraglider-type dirigible parachute.

Launches from southern Spain

The first commercial flight to be launched in 2026 does not yet have a confirmed base of origin, although the first certification to fly will be received from the United States, so this is likely to be the starting point. There will be a launch base in southern Spain, but the company did not reveal the area where it will be located. It is not expected to be able to launch its first flight in Spain for another three years because the authorisation from the European agency is "slower than the others".

Halo Space is working with leading aerospace companies such as CT Engineering, Aciturri, GMV and B2Space to design, manufacture, integrate, test and certify the craft. Since 2021, Halo Space has invested 10 million euros in the project and the company anticipates total expenditure of between 80 and 90 million euros.

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