WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WMBB) — A Gulf County aerospace company is preparing for space travel, but there’s no rocket involved.
Skyborne Technology plans to offer regular people luxury rides to the edge of the atmosphere.
For the last few years, Skyborne Technology has been developing an airship for disaster relief, now the company is working on a project that would send anyone into space.
“The development now has started in which the emergence of an idea is now a reality, in which this is a disaster relief airship behind me, which is scheduled to fly late February, early March this year. Onboard will have similar systems that will be utilized to get to space,” Skyborne Technology CEO Michael Lawson said.
The plan is to take the airship up to 68,000 feet, the edge of space.
Passengers would see the curvature of the earth and get an idea of what astronauts see from space.
Lawson said the airship will be 350 feet in length and 85 feet wide and hold 15 to 20 passengers.
And for $50,000 it’s much cheaper than the millions of dollars the private rocket companies are charging for just a few minutes in space.
“So this concept is basically a sizing exercise that is making something like the 7-story high airship behind me much larger to be able to accommodate that going objective. So is it a reality? It will be,” Lawson said.
Lawson said the 4-engine helium airship can be in space in 6 hours.
He wants the 12-hour round-trip to be a luxury experience with dinner, cocktails, and comfortable seating.
And it can also be used for other types of travel.
“Let’s say you want to go to the Bahamas you’d fly it there, land it, and it can also land in water,” Lawson said.
Lawson said they expect this idea to become a reality in just three and a half years.
“The economic impact is that if he gets his hangers open and is up the full operation he is going to bring in 71 who knows at least 71 jobs, maybe in the hundreds high paying jobs,” Gulf County Economic Development Coalition Director Jim McKnight said.