Update on World View Progress

World View Stratollite module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on the progress of World View based on their tweets.

Jane Poynter
World View

  • 2017 has been a seminal year for World View in which the company has flown many times
  • Helium-filled balloons can carry Stratollite platforms with 50-kg payloads to altitudes of 16-30 km
  • Stratollites can provide payloads with 250 watts of power
  • Plan to double mass and power capacity within the next year
  • Balloons can remain stationary over specific areas and maneuvered to a location of the client’s choosing
  • Expect to increase flight rate to 1 or 2 per month quite quickly
  • balloons can only descend to ground at night, but plan to change that in the future
  • The stratosphere (aka, “ignorosphere”) is a good destination destination for science investigation
  • Stratollites can be used to test experiments and technology for Mars because the atmospheric pressure at the altitudes they reach are similar to that on the Red Planet
  • “very close” to substituting hydrogen for helium in balloons
  • Spaceport Tucson is focused on stratospheric flights
  • Other balloon operators are welcome at Spaceport Tucson where World View operates

Andrew Antonio
Director of Marketing
World View

  • Can provide imaging coverage for longer periods of time and at lower costs than UAVs
  • Goal is to provide best of satellites and UAVs using balloons
  • Using off-the-shelf cameras got a resolution of about 50 cm
  • Believes company can reduce imaging system to 10- to 15-cm resolution next year and communications rate to 100- to 500 Mbps
  • Ultimate goal is have constellations floating over regions providing continuous imaging

A Summary of NSRC Day 1

Precise thrust vector control and deep throttling enable pinpoint booster landing. (Credit: Blue Origin)
Precise thrust vector control and deep throttling enable pinpoint booster landing. (Credit: Blue Origin)

The three-day Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference began today in Colorado. Although I wasn’t able to attend, I have compiled highlights of a very newsworthy day via Twitter posts. (You can follow along with hashtag #nsrc2016.)

Below is a summary of news and updates provided by Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems, World View Enterprises, Exos Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, Near Space Corporation, and NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program.


Grant Anderson Named President and CEO of Paragon Space Development Corporation

Grant Anderson
Grant Anderson

TUCSON, AZ, Nov. 3, 2014 (Paragon PR) – Just prior to the record-breaking, near space dive by the Paragon StratEx team and Google Executive, Alan Eustace, Paragon’s Board of Directors announced that Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum had resigned from their positions as President and CEO in order to become leaders of World View Enterprises, a space tourism vanguard opportunity incubated within Paragon.

Grant Anderson, former Paragon COO, has since been named Paragon’s new President and CEO while Ron Sable, a member of the Paragon Board of Directors, was elected Chairman of the Paragon Board.

“We are thankful for Jane and Taber’s leadership over the past 21 years as Paragon has grown to be a premier supplier of life support systems and technology and achieved great technical advancements and industry firsts,” said Mr. Sable. “We wish them both the best success in building this ground-breaking new company.”


World View Names Former Astronaut Mark Kelly as Flight Crew Operations Director

mark_kellyTUCSON (World View PR) – World View® Enterprises, Inc. (World View) has announced that former astronaut Mark Kelly will be Director of Flight Crew Operations. A retired U.S. Navy test pilot and Space Shuttle Commander, Kelly will play a central role in the start-up commercial space business, which began taking reservations today for its accessible, affordable trips to the edge of space via high-altitude balloon.

During his career in the U.S. Navy, Kelly accumulated 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft with 375 aircraft carrier landings. He flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm. He later joined NASA’s astronaut corps, where he piloted two Space Shuttle flights and commanded two others, including Endeavour on its final mission.


Paragon SDC to Develop Inflatable Space Habitat with NASA SBIR Award

paragonsdcNASA has selected Paragon Space Development Corporation of Tucson for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards to develop technologies for inflatable space habitats and the regeneration of oxygen for crews on their way to the moon and Mars.

“Paragon Space Development Corp (Paragon) and Thin Red Line Aerospace proposes to explore the utilization of inflatable structures by designing a habitation module as an integrated, all-fabric inflatable structural architecture, rather than modifying rigid space structural designs with an inflatable envelope,” according to the proposal summary. “Paragon and TRLA have developed several concepts with the potential to eliminate the need for hard-material support structure within an inflated habitat.”


Paragon SDC on Inc. Magazine’s List of Fastest-Growing Companies

TUCSON, Arizona: September 07, 2012 (Paragon PR) — Inc. magazine has ranked Paragon Space Development Corporation® No. 35 in the Engineering Industry and No. 3631 on its sixth annual Inc. 500|5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs.

Jane Poynter, Paragon President, stated, “Through even the most difficult of economic times, we remained determined to continue to provide quality products with first class service to all of our customers, solidifying our commitments and securing our future.”


The Story of Taber, Jane and Paragon SDC

How to Start an Aerospace Company
Inc. Magazine

Like countless entrepreneurial couples, Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum started their business from home. It was 1993, and home was Biosphere 2, the 3.14-acre terrarium in which researchers spent two years testing self-sustaining ecosystems.