Arizona space tourism company still on track for 2016 launch

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Following the Friday crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, commercial space proponents say it's important to keep moving forward.

"I think space tourism is going to be one of those things that propels us forward. It's kind of like aviation in the 1920s," former astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly told 3TV.

Kelly is a founder of World View, an Arizona-based operation also planning commercial space trips.

World View plans to use helium to lift a capsule of people to the stratosphere, whereas Virgin is using rockets and spaceships.

"We're not doing something as challenging as Virgin Galactic. I mean, they have to build a rocket motor. We've got a little bit of a simpler approach, maybe for a different clientele," Kelly said.

A parafoil helps the capsule float down to Earth, after two hours on the edge of space.

Tests are underway in the Arizona desert, and World View is on track to launch in 2016 near Page.

Kelly says he expects Virgin to recover from the crash and setback.

"I hope most of their customers hang in there because this is something that Virgin Galactic can certainly do," he said.