From zero to Infinity. That is the slogan that a Spanish company has taken to launch its commitment to space tourism. “Zero 2 Infinity” works with helium balloons. Its field of action is in Andalusia, taking advantage of the good weather and the leadership in high-level tourism.
“Zero 2 Infinity”, led by aerospace engineer José Mariano López-Urdiales, will present its project “Bloon” at SUTUS 2021, the pioneering event on Space and Underwater Tourism, to be held from September 22 to 24 in Les Roches Marbella, coinciding with the fall equinox.
SUTUS will bring together for three days space, and in a hybrid format, agencies such as the American NASA, the European ESA or the Japanese JAXA, as well as some twenty space and underwater projects from the United States, China, France, Indonesia, Italy and Spain, among other countries.
Lopez-Urdiales set up in 2009 the “Zero 2 Infinity” project in Barcelona, relying on about thirty partners, but especially in a Spanish company which is the world leader in the production of manned balloons: Ultramagic.
The intention of the Spanish project is to offer the experience of going up to 36 kilometers altitude, above controlled airspace and below satellites, in a trip that lasts six hours in a helium balloon with a pressurized capsule. At that altitude you get a view that transforms you, what is known as the “overview effect”: to see with your own eyes that the Earth is round and blue, to see how thin the layer of the atmosphere is, and to see that the sky is full of stars and is also black in the daytime.
“It takes three hours to ascend. At the top, you spend two hours enjoying the view. And the descent, once the capsule detaches from the balloon, is done gently with a very large parachute,” explains Lopez-Urdiales.
The headquarters of Zero 2 Infinity is located in Villacarrillo (Jaén), where the Experimental Flight Center “Atlas” already exists, with infrastructures, hangars, an airfield with two runways of 600 (pavement) and 400 meters (grass), a control tower and the possibility of operating more than 300 days a year.
The price of each trip per passenger will be around 110,000 euros. Unlike other proposals with rockets that require a high level of physical fitness, almost anyone can fly in Bloon. Lopez-Urdiales hopes to take advantage of the strong position that Andalusia already has for luxury tourism.
The second edition of SUTUS will have a hybrid format, with a first on-site session on September 22 at the Les Roches Marbella campus, and two more virtual sessions on September 23 and 24. The three days can be followed after registration through the virtual platform of Medina Media Events, through which attendees can schedule video meetings with other participants and speakers, as well as visit exclusive online demos.
SUTUS 2021 is supported by the Andalusian Tourism Council, Costa del Sol Tourism and Planning, Extenda, Triton Submarines and Pisces VI.