Near space start-up HALO Space continues its pioneering flight

29 March 2023 3 min. read
More news on

HALO Space, a company that sprung out of Arthur D. Little’s innovation incubator, has announced its second test flight, as the Spanish company continues its pioneering flight towards opening up an entirely new industry: near space tourism.

Established in 2021, HALO Space has the ambition to offer zero-emission commercial flights at up to 40 km altitude – in what is called the ‘near space’ stratosphere. Flying at such altitudes will allow passengers to see the curvature of the planet Earth for a time span of 4-6 hours.

The HALO Space aircraft is a pressurised capsule with capacity for 8 passengers and a pilot. Powered by a hydrogen balloon, the aircraft’s circular shape and windows allowing passengers to have a 360-degree view of planet Earth – and the universe.

Near space start-up HALO Space continues its pioneering flight

According to an estimate from Swiss bank UBS, near space tourism will be in high demand once it becomes a reality. With tickets at a price between $100,000 and $200,000, and high net worth individuals lining up to witness the experience, the near space tourism industry is touted to reach $14 billion by 2030. HALO Space aims to take a $3 billion share of this market.

HALO Space was founded under the wings of Arthur D. Little, which groomed the company as part of its Breakthrough Incubator Program. Following a €3 million seed funding round, Madrid-based HALO Space transitioned to an independently run firm, led by the duo Carlos Mira (CEO) and Alberto Castrillo (CTO) – both are space industry veterans.

Today, HALO Space works closely with a consortium of top-tier aerospace companies such as CT Engineering Group, Aciturri, GMV and TIFR in the development of its spaceflight program.

Next launch

Following its first successful test flight in India in December last year (at an altitude of 37 km), HALO Space has now announced it will launch a second test flight in southern Spain in the summer. No exact launch date has been communicated.

HALO Space CEO Mira said: “HALO Space will pave the way for near-space tourism, making it possible for ordinary people to travel to space and witness the beauty of our planet from a unique perspective. By making space accessible to more people, we hope to democratize access to space and create a more inclusive future for humanity.”

From Arthur D. Little’s perspective, the global consulting firm is notably proud of the progress being made by a potentially groundbreaking start-up that it helped concept and grow.

Thomas Kuruvilla, a global board member at Arthur D. Little, said: “HALO Space was established thanks to Arthur D. Little’s Breakthrough Incubator program, and this next test flight is a significant milestone in the development of space tourism. Each component of the HALO concept, including the stratospheric balloon, capsule prototype, onboard systems, and descent with parachute, has been successfully tested in collaboration with our technical partners.”

“HALO Space’s early work demonstrates that the technology and safety measures are in place to make suborbital flights accessible to civilians in the near future.”

Founded in 1886, Arthur D. Little is generally recognised as the world’s oldest management consulting firm. This has enabled the firm to be part of a series of landmark innovations, including a number of notable achievements in the space sector.

In the 1969 Apollo 11 mission – back in a time when Boston Consulting Group was barely out of diapers, Arthur D. Little had more than 80 staff part of the NASA team guiding the first flight that successfully landed humans on the Moon. The feat is still regarded one of mankind’s biggest achievements in history.

Arthur D. Little also worked decades with NASA on projects aimed at lunar surface intelligence, astronaut protection, space innovation, and more. The firm also is a trusted strategic advisor to the European Space Agency.