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Iwaya Giken: Helium Balloon Space Tourism Takes Flight in Japan

Japanese start-up Iwaya Giken is advancing high-altitude travel using helium balloons for space tourism. After conducting its first human-crewed test flight reaching 6km in late July, the company aims to achieve a 25km altitude by the end of 2023. Iwaya plans to offer commercial flights by Mar'24, initially costing US$164,000 per passenger but with ambitions to reduce prices and make space travel more accessible, joining the ranks of established space tourism players like Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic.

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