China Challenges SpaceX with Space Themed Park by Sending Visitors to the Lower Stratosphere

Beautiful video of Earth as seen from the International Space Station. This is HD footage captured by NASA HDEV cameras on board the ISS.

Beautiful video of Earth as seen from the International Space Station. This is HD footage captured by NASA HDEV cameras on board the ISS.
(Space Videos/Youtube)

Chinese company, Kuang-Chi is mounting a $1.5 billion theme park in China dubbed Future Valley that will include a scheme to transport tourists to the stratosphere.

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The company says it is a pressurized passenger capsule, branded the Traveller which can go up to 15 miles overhead Earth’s surface and visitors can enjoy a few hours in the stratosphere before returning back to land. That’s not exactly “Space” per say but it is elevated enough to appreciate the curvature of the Earth, reports Engadget.

This project is an answer to the last year’s SpaceX project in Russia, wherein customers willing to pay $20 million would be sent out into Space and if you consider the Chinese planned space themed park then it would be a cheaper option.

In operation, the Virgin Galactic will hang Space Ship Two with its pilots and six passengers beneath the White Knight carrier aircraft which will fly to 40,000 feet up the ground and release the rocket-plane. Once free of the carrier, SS2 will fire its hybrid rocket engine and zoom to an altitude of more than 100 kilometers, where passengers will experience “several minutes” of weightlessness before strapping back into their seats for the ride back to Earth.

Space tourism does have its challenges, however, such as those experience recently by SpaceX. The pilotless Falcon 9 rocket which exploded on its Florida launch pad last week, and last June, a cargo flight bound for the International Space Station broke apart in mid-air on its way.

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While aiming lower than projects such as Virgin Galactic’s which aims to drive tourism crafts across the 100km-high Karman line which is technically and officially considered space, KuangChi is among the private projects trying to put leisure to people along for the ride at twice the altitude of said commercial aircraft from Virgin Galactic.

This attraction has no launch date yet but when it will be opened, it’ll be located in Hangzhou. While you obviously won’t be taken into space with this ride, it could still be a unique attraction and an impressive experience.

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