Taber MacCallum

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Taber MacCallum

Taber MacCallum is the current Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Space Perspective,[1] a human spaceflight company planning to take people and payloads to the edge of space by balloon. He is co-founder and former CTO of World View Enterprises, a stratospheric balloon company using its un-crewed Stratollite for remote communications and sensing. MacCallum was also a founding member of the Biosphere 2 design team and a crew member from the original two-year mission inside the materially-closed ecological system.

Prior to World View, MacCallum served as co-founder, CEO and CTO of Paragon Space Development Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of hazardous environment life support equipment. During his tenure at Paragon, MacCallum served as the CTO and safety officer for Alan Eustace's world record altitude skydive, a project that launched Eustace to 135,899 ft (25.74 mi; 41.42 km) under a helium balloon in 2014.[2] He also served as Chief Technology Officer for Inspiration Mars Foundation, which detailed plans for an almost two-year fly-by mission around Mars with two crew members, and published performance data from a complete life support system hardware demonstration, demonstrating recycling of wastewater and oxygen.

Space Perspective[edit]

Space Perspective Inc. is a space tourism company, founded and incorporated in 2019 by Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter with plans to launch its nine-person "Spaceship Neptune" manned balloon from NASA Kennedy Space Center.

On June 18, 2020, Space Perspective announced its plans to balloon passengers to nearly 100,000 feet above the Earth for roughly USD$125,000 per ticket.[3][4]

On 2 December 2020 Space Perspective closed its seed funding round; US$7 million of funding was gathered. The company plans first unmanned test flight in the first half of 2021 and manned operational flights by end of 2024. [5]

World View[edit]

World View Enterprises, doing business as World View, is a private American near-space exploration and technology company headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, founded with the goal of increasing access to and the utilization of the stratosphere for scientific, commercial, and economic purposes.

The Stratollite[edit]

The Stratollite[6] is a remotely operated, navigable, uncrewed stratospheric flight vehicle designed and engineered to station-keep over customer-specified areas of interest for long periods of time (days, weeks, and months). The Stratollite uses proprietary altitude control technology to rise and lower in the stratosphere, harnessing the natural currents of varying stratospheric winds to provide point-to-point navigation and loitering. The Stratollite operates at altitudes up to 95,000 feet (29 km) with a payload capacity of 50 kilograms (110 lb) and 250W of continuous power to payloads. The Stratollite is primarily used for applications including remote sensing, communications, and weather.[7]

Paragon Space Development Corporation[edit]

Taber is a co-founder and served as CEO for over 20 years. He was the Principal Investigator on four microgravity experiments on the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station and International Space Station using Paragon's patented[8] Autonomous Biological System, a long duration plant and aquatic animal life support system[8] and has supported numerous other biological experiments on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He conceived and was involved in the design of a Mars space suit portable life support system technology[9] funded by NASA, life support and thermal control systems for commercial manned orbital and suborbital spacecraft, as well as hazardous environment life support technology for U.S. Navy divers. In 2008, Popular Science named MacCallum Inventor of the Year.[10]

Biosphere 2[edit]

Prior to Paragon, MacCallum was a founding member of the Biosphere 2 Design, Development, Test and Operations team, and a crew member in the first two-year mission. He was granted a patent[11] for the analytical systems of Biosphere 2. MacCallum was responsible for the design, implementation and operation of the atmosphere and water management systems as well as the self-contained paperless analytical laboratories for Biosphere 2 that tested air, water, soil and tissue.[11] As a crew member he served as Safety Officer, Assistant Medical Officer and Analytical Chemist, responsible for operation of all the analytical systems and much of the medical analysis and health monitoring systems.

MacCallum's training for Biosphere 2 led him to work on a research vessel, eventually holding every level of command, sailing to over 40 ports and over 30,000 miles around the world.[12] Training in Singapore, he became certified as a dive controller and Advanced Open Water Diving Instructor. He served as dive master for a project to reintroduce two captive dolphins to the wild.[12]

Additional projects[edit]

MacCallum was the principal investigator on five space microgravity experiments starting in 1988 on the Soviet BioSatellite, then the US Space Shuttle, Russian Mir Space Station and International Space Station. Under his direction, four-month experiments on Mir produced the first animals to have completed their life cycle off the Earth.

MacCallum holds a variety of technology patents, most notably including Biosphere 2's Atmospheric Monitoring System, the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft Humidity Control System, thermal radiators for Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft, a hazardous water diving suit for the US Navy, the StratEx stable supersonic flight spacesuit, a waste water recovery system for Mars now going to the International Space Station, the World View stratospheric parafoil flight system, and several in stratospheric altitude control navigation technology for the World View Stratollite.


  1. ^ "New Tourism Company Space Perspective Aims To Make Space Accessible To As Many People As Possible". Forbes.
  2. ^ Betancourt, Mark (January 2017). "The Highest Jump". Air and Space Magazine.
  3. ^ Mosher, Dave (2020). "A new spaceship-on-a-balloon startup wants to float you high enough to see Earth's curvature and the darkness of space for roughly $125,000 per ticket". BusinessInsider. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Etherington, Darrell (February 23, 2017). "World View's 'stratollites' and new spaceport aim to change the business of space". Retrieved 23 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Button, Keith (October 2017). "Satellite envy". Aerospace America.
  8. ^ a b United States Patent 5,865,141 Autonomous Biological System (ABS)
  9. ^ United States Patent 2009/0172935 A1 Paragon Dive System
  10. ^ "Paragon Dive System".
  11. ^ a b United States Patent 5,246,668 Air sampling and analysis system
  12. ^ a b Biosphere 2 Training, archived from the original on 2014-11-11 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]