World View Enterprises

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World View Enterprises, Inc.
Industry Aerospace and space tourism
Founded October 2013
Headquarters Tucson, Arizona
Key people
Jane Poynter (CEO)
Taber MacCallum (CTO)
Alan Stern (Chief Scientist)
Mark Kelly

World View Enterprises, Inc., 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.

World View was founded and incorporated in 2012 by a team of aerospace and life support veterans, including Biosphere 2 crew-members Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, Dr. Alan Stern (the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto), and former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. The company designs, manufactures and operates stratospheric flight technology for a variety of customers and applications. The company operates via two primary business segments: Stratollite un-crewed flight systems and Voyager human spaceflight systems.

The Stratollite[edit]

The Stratollite[1] is a remotely operated, navigable, un-crewed 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 ft. (30km) with a payload capacity of 50kg and 250W of continuous power to payloads. The Stratollite is primarily used for applications including remote sensing, communications, and weather [2].

Voyager Human Spaceflight Experience[edit]

The Voyager human spaceflight experience is under development with the goal of carrying private individuals to approximately 100,000ft (30.48km) above Earth inside a pressurized spacecraft lofted by a helium-filled high-altitude balloon. The flight vehicle will carry six passengers and two crew on an approximately five hour flight (from liftoff to touchdown). The flight experience is intended to give passengers a wide-angle and long-duration view of the curvature of the Earth against the blackness of space. The pressurized spacecraft is planned to be outfitted with a restroom, minibar, and communications capabilities for communicating with family and friends below in real-time [3].


During a test flight in June 2014 World View successfully deployed and remotely navigated a parafoil back down to Earth from an altitude of 50,000 feet.[4]

An October 2015 test flight brought a 10-percent scale passenger capsule to over 100,000 feet altitude; a full-scale test is anticipated to follow.[5]

A September 2016 flight carried a small, unmanned, scientific payload to an altitude of over 100,000 feet on behalf of the Southwest Research Institute through NASA's Flight Opportunities Program.[6]

By January, 2016, World View was planning to operate commercial flights from Spaceport Tucson beginning in 2017.[7]

In April, 2016, World View announced that, following $7 million in "Series A" financing, it had raised an additional $15 million in "Series B" funding.[8]

In June, 2017, World View completed a 17-hour flight featuring a KFC product; though a balloon leak cut it short from the intended 4-day duration, it was World View's first flight in which a solar array was "properly pointing at the sun."[9][10]

In July, 2017, World View completed a 27-hour flight.[10]

In October, 2017, World View completed a first flight from Tucson, Arizona, staying aloft for five days: the longest duration of any World View flight to date.[9][11]

On December 19, 2017, a balloon exploded causing tremors in the Tucson area that shook for over half a mile.[12]

In March, 2018, World View announced that it had raised an additional $26.5 million in "Series C" funding.[13]

Key people[edit]

Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter of World View Enterprises at the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting, 19 January 2016

Jane Poynter, co-founder and CEO, was one of the original eight Biosphere 2 crew members. After two years inside Biosphere 2 (a three-acre, hermetically-sealed environment in the Arizona desert,) she went on to co-found Paragon Space Development Corporation, which designs and manufactures life support technologies rated for extreme environments, including outer space.[14] Paragon has supplied hardware to more than 70 spaceflight missions, including ones to the International Space Station and Mir.[15]

Taber MacCallum, co-founder and CTO, was also one of the original Biosphere 2 crew members and went on to co-found Paragon Space Development Corporation alongside Jane Poynter. Taber MacCallum was named Popular Science Inventor of the Year in 2008 for a toxic water diving suit that helps hazmat divers safely navigate contaminated waters.[16]

Alan Stern, co-founder and Chief Scientist, was appointed NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, essentially NASA's top-ranking official for science, in April 2007. In this position Stern directed a US$4.4 billion organization with 93 separate flight missions and a program of over 3,000 research grants.[17] He is also the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express.[18]

Mark Kelly, World View's Director of Flight Crew Operations, is a retired NASA Space Shuttle Commander and U.S. Navy Test Pilot. During his tenure with NASA, he piloted two Space Shuttle flights and commanded two others, including Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final mission.[19] As of 2018, Kelly is co-founder and strategic advisor.[20]

Ron Garan, Chief Pilot for robotic flight operations and upcoming human spaceflights, a retired NASA astronaut and fighter pilot.[21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ vehicle vehicle Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 23 February 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Retrieved October 2017.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Retrieved 14 July 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "World View tests scale model of its high-altitude balloon system « NewSpace Journal". Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  5. ^ Wall, Mike (28 October 2015). "Watch This Amazing World View Test Flight for Balloon-Based Space Tourism". Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  6. ^ World View Enterprises (2016-09-07). "World View Completes Successful NASA Flight Mission". Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  7. ^ Wall, Mike (2016-01-20). "Spaceport Tucson: World View's New Home for Balloon Tourist Flights". Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  8. ^ Foust, Jeff (April 29, 2016). "World View raises $15 million for high-altitude balloon work". Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b Wall, Mike (October 2, 2017). "Spaceport Tucson Takes Flight with World View 'Stratollite' Balloon Launch". Retrieved January 19, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Button, Keith (October 2017). "Satellite envy". Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  11. ^ Grush, Loren (October 6, 2017). "High-altitude balloon meant to mimic satellites pulls off longest flight yet". Retrieved January 19, 2018. 
  12. ^ KGUN 9 (2017-12-19). "Balloon ruptures following test at World View". Retrieved 2017-12-19. 
  13. ^ Foust, Jeff (March 29, 2018). "World View raises $26.5 million for near-space balloon systems". Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  14. ^ "What Lessons Came Out Of Biosphere 2?". NPR. 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  15. ^ "Jane Poynter, cofounder of Paragon Space Development". Website. FastCompany. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  16. ^ "A Sewage-Proof Suit | Popular Science". 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  17. ^ "Alan Stern". Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  18. ^ "Dr. Alan Stern named Chief Scientist for Moon Express | Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute". 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  19. ^ "NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly Named Director of Flight Crew Operations for World View Enterprises' Human Flights to the Edge of Space". 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2016-02-17. 
  20. ^ "World View:Our Team". Retrieved August 6, 2018. 
  21. ^ World View Enterprises (2016-02-23). "Astronaut Ron Garan Joins World View as Chief Pilot". Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  22. ^ Clash, Jim (24 February 2016). "Extreme Ballooning: Astronaut Ron Garan Takes Pilot Slot For World View Experience". Magazine/Website. Forbes. Retrieved 26 February 2016.