#1686: SpaceSpear

There are several different approaches to space tourism.

Today’s invention is an alternative.

A needle-shaped, helium-filled airship, made of eg carbon nanotubes, is orientated with its long axis vertical. This would need to be ~400m in height and with a cross-section just big enough for the occupant to stand up in with his parachute and breathing apparatus.

The atmospheric pressure differential from top to bottom would be enough to drive this low-drag needle upwards when released, exceeding the 36km height limit for balloons.

Lessening drag would allow the ship to reach perhaps 50km, before falling earthwards. A parachute would automatically be deployed, allowing the airship to be reused.

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