Now you can reserve a seat for a hot air balloon ride to the stratosphere, if you have enough financial resources.
The Florida company Space Perspective has begun accepting seat reservations for its “Neptune spacecraft,” a pressurized balloon cabin designed to carry eight passengers and one pilot at an altitude of 100,000 feet (30,000 meters). Price: US $ 125,000 per seat. Passengers of the
Neptune spacecraft will spend approximately 6 hours in the capsule during the flight, allowing them to reach more than 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere and show our planet in dark space. A representative from
Space Perspective said that this experience will be low-impact and relatively luxurious. Since the space capsule is raised by a huge balloon, it rises steadily without any high gravity associated with rocket launches. Spaceship Neptune will be equipped with reclining seats, floor-to-ceiling windows, snack bar and bathroom facilities.
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Artist’s view of the interior of the Neptune spacecraft capsule drawn from the perspective of space.
An inside view of the Neptune spacecraft drawn by an artist from a perspective view of space. (Image source: Space Perspective)
test flight is also
Space Perspective’s goal is to start commercial operations before the end of 2024. Last Friday (June 18), the company took a big step toward achieving this goal, launching its first test flight from the Space Coast spaceport in Florida, which is located adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
The unmanned flight using the full-size Neptune spacecraft simulator lasted 6 hours and 39 minutes. Representatives for Space Perspective said it reached a maximum height of 108,409 feet (33,043 meters) and splashed into the Gulf of Mexico as planned, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the west coast of Florida.
“I am extremely proud of the flight system and equipment performance,” Space Perspective co-CEO and co-founder Taber MacCallum said in a statement.
“This Neptune 1 test flight has opened up our extensive test flight activities, which will be very powerful because we can test without a pilot, making the Neptune spacecraft a very safe way to enter space,” he added. (Clarification: Technically speaking, the space capsule cannot reach space. Its limit is considered to be 50 miles or 62 miles above the surface of the earth, depending on who you ask.)
Space Perspective Neptune One test vehicle, in the company in 2021 It was displayed shortly before the first test flight on June 18, 2015. The Space Perspective
Neptune One test vehicle was displayed shortly before the company’s first test flight on June 18, 2021. (Image source: Space Perspective) A representative of the
company said that the test flight on June 18 carried a series of scientific payloads. Among these experiments are the award-winning works from a science project competition for students in grades 7-12 organized by the non-profit educational organization Higher Orbits, and an ozone detection instrument developed by researchers at the University of North Florida. There is also the “light of life” in the
flight. According to Space Perspective, this is the largest art installation ever to fly over the earth. Space Perspective wrote in the draft description that the
Living Light collectively developed by Beyond Earth artists “echoed the shape of the space capsule that eventually sent the explorer into space and presented the appearance of a jellyfish.” “The device represents a common mission, which is to expand the basic biodiversity and interdependence of all living organisms, especially hidden marine life, which is rarely included in the history of life on earth.”