By Dawn StoverPosted 10.23.2007 at 3:56 pm 2 Comments
You don't need a rocket to send scientific instruments into space. A really big balloon works just as well, according to an international research team that plans to take a closer-than-ever look at the sun.
Challenged by Space Adventures (which negotiated Dennis Tito's flight to the space station) to create a launch vehicle capable of three flights daily, Myasishchev Design Bureau has responded with the Cosmopolis XXI Aerospace System. The three-passenger module would piggyback on an airplane to the upper atmosphere before a rocket delivered
it to its 62-mile-high cruising altitude. First flights are planned for 2005, at a price of $98,000 per seat.