CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Over the weekend, we received dozens of phone calls about a mysterious white-colored "UFO" in the southern sky Sunday night.
After a few hours of research, we have an answer to what it is.
A company out of Tucson, Arizona called World View Space launched a stratospheric balloon from its Spaceport Grand Canyon location on Thursday last week. The balloon, called Gryphon 24, crossed the United States at a speed of about 10 mph, before reaching Southwest Florida Sunday.
The company says the balloon is on a mission flight but could not comment on the details of the mission or their customer's payloads at this time. The balloon is currently heading south at an altitude of 62,000 feet (about twice the height of Mount Everest).
The company World View Space last week reached 1,000 reservations for human flights to the edge of space starting in 2024, with each flight costing $50,000 per person. Eventually, eight paying customers and two crew members will soar 100,000 feet above the Earth (23 miles) for 6 to 8 hours.
The company says its participants will lift off before dawn to watch the sunrise over Earth.