Latest in Gear

Image credit:

World View successfully launches near-space balloon from its new HQ

It's the start of more routine launches for the satellite replacement.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 2, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

World View

World View's dreams of replacing satellites with edge-of-space balloons have been long in the making, and not without some hiccups: its initial flight, which included KFC chicken in a publicity stunt,ended prematurely thanks to a leak. Things are going more smoothly this weekend, though. The startup has completed the first launch of a Stratollite balloon from its new headquarters in Tucson, where it hopes to turn balloon launches into a routine occurrence.

Right now, the balloons don't exactly last long -- World View's longest-lasting flight was 27 hours, which would only be useful for the briefest of uses. However, the Tucson launch lays the groundwork for much more. It's where World View will both launch and manufacture many of its balloons, and starts a new phase of refinement that could lead to balloons which stay afloat for months. That, in turn, could lead to balloons that replace satellites for long-term science experiments, weather tracking and observation (including for the military). There are even hopes for passenger pods that could enable everything from manned science missions to not-quite-space tourism.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Google is testing a way to activate Assistant without wake words

Google is testing a way to activate Assistant without wake words

View
Google Fi's phone subscription gets you a Pixel 4a for just $15 per month

Google Fi's phone subscription gets you a Pixel 4a for just $15 per month

View
NASA shares first images from OSIRIS-REx's touchdown on Bennu

NASA shares first images from OSIRIS-REx's touchdown on Bennu

View
California Uber drivers sue company over Prop 22 app notifications

California Uber drivers sue company over Prop 22 app notifications

View
Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr