I asked the same question about the SR-71 Blackbird, and I'm also curious about the Perlan II sailplane which travelled above 70,000 ft, and is planned to be flown to 90,000 ft, if it could be used for nearspace tourism and what some issues might be with that. Its starting location would have to be near a high enough mountain range where it can use enough lift to climb that high, and this is best at certain times of the year I guess. A major advantage would be that this form of nearspace tourism would be 100% environmentally friendly (for those who bother).

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    $\begingroup$ Well, environmentally friendly not counting the carbon footprint of launching, and of airline flights and ground transport to get the tourist to the launch site, and then back home again. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 23 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ Considering that space is at 330,000ft I'm not sure if I'd call 90,000ft near-space. $\endgroup$ – GdD Mar 23 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ Updrafts which would carry a glider to 70,000 ft are extremely rare. How long had the Perlan II crew to wait for the right conditions? This would make the experience extremely boring for tourists and impossible to plan ahead. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Mar 23 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Giovanni And maybe I'll win $200 million in the lottery... $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 23 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ No, I oppose unfounded optimism, here seen in the form of claiming nearspace tourism can be eco-friendly. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Mar 23 at 14:32

No, Perlan II can't be used for tourism. It has only two seats, and every description of it talks about the crew of two, or the two pilots, or the chief pilot and co-pilot. Someone who gets certified for the type and carries that much responsibility isn't called a tourist.


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