TITLE: CEO, WORLD VIEW ENTERPRISES; COFOUNDER, PARAGON SPACE DEVELOPMENT
IMPACT: A PIONEER OF SPACE TOURISM, BRITISH–BORN, TUCSON, ARIZ.–BASED JANE POYNTER WANTS TO FLY TO MARS. One of eight people who lived for two years in a sealed three-acre research facility called Biosphere 2 in the Arizona desert in the early ’90s, Poynter conceptualized two businesses while living in that closed ecological system: She is cofounder of Paragon Space Development, which provides life support for extreme environments—like in space and under the sea—and is CEO of World View Enterprises, a Tucson–based space exploration venture. A main mission of Paragon is an ambitious project to send humans on a round-trip orbit of Mars by 2021. Poynter and her cofounders are working diligently to figure out the logistics of such a trip, while petitioning Congress to fund the project and NASA for the use of the Space Launch System and a vehicle for transport. Meanwhile, World View has raised $15 million this year to develop its high-altitude balloons, Stratollites, which bring people to an altitude of 100,000 feet (almost 20 miles) above the earth’s surface. World View anticipates launching commercial flights on these space capsules (which will hold six passengers, at $75,000 per seat, and two crew members) from Spaceport Tucson beginning next year.