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article image'Spain to Space': Balloon ride of a life-time coming soon

By Anne Sewell     Jul 8, 2013 in Travel
Marbella - You too can have the chance of a six-hour round-trip, 36 km up into the stratosphere in a high-tech balloon, as long as you have a cool €110,000 to spare.
The brainchild of zero2infinity, spaceflight specialists in Barcelona, is being teamed up with some adventurous people from a travel agency based in Marbella on the Costa del Sol, to offer high-flying tourists a trip of a life-time.
CRIS&KIM Travel Designers are offering "suborbital balloon trips in conjunction with zero2infinity" — a cool six-hour round trip way up there using a high-tech balloon for a mere €110,000.
The Local interviewed the company director, Christina Layva, who said: "Not all of our products are so expensive — this is a special case, and that's why the cost is 'stratospheric' too!"
Layva explained how the partnership between the Catalan space-balloon specialists, zero2infinity and CRIS&KIM happened. She said, "We found each other mutually at a business event in Marbella."
"We just thought it was the most original idea in the world," she added.
And despite the high price, company spokesman, José Urbaneja, says that two people have already booked seats on the flights, scheduled to begin in 2015.
Speaking to Europa Press, Urbaneja explained that the first brave people to take the daunting trip will be a well-known Russian blogger, along with "a Spanish citizen who wishes to remain anonymous."
José Mariano of zero2infinity explained that, "The trip takes about six hours in total; three to get up, two up and one down."
Basically how it works is the passengers will ride in a capsule attached to a helium balloon that lifts off from an aerodrome in Córdoba.
Urbaneja explained that, "Passengers will be able to stand up and look out into space through the capsule windows and even eat inside the cabin."
José Luis Hernandez, who is Marbella's Councillor for Tourism, is very enthusiastic about the publicity potential of the balloon flights.
He told the media: "We can say, "from Marbella to space", as they can have breakfast in Marbella, eat in space and return to Marbella to sleep."
Reportedly tests flights will begin in 2014, and according to organizers the experience will resemble that of Felix Baumgartner, the daredevil who made a record 1357.64 km/h freefall parachute descent after ascending into the stratosphere in a balloon back in October last year.
However in the case of zero2infinity's balloon, the return trip is hoped to be a little slower.
Speaking to The Local, Layva explained that they are not planning on offering mass-market package tours outside the planet's ozone layer.
"Our company creates tailor-made holidays for individuals, " she explained. "We don't have a catalog; we design what people want."
Suborbital balloon trips will be on offer from Marbella in Spain by 2015.
Suborbital balloon trips will be on offer from Marbella in Spain by 2015.
More about Spain, Marbella, Barcelona, Space, Stratosphere
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