A burgeoning space tourism company has unveiled the final design of its luxury capsule, which will lift passengers 20 miles above Earth under a giant balloon.
Florida-based Space Perspective plans to take paying customers on flights to the edge of the cosmos as early as 2024.
A ticket costs $125,000 per person and secures you a seat in a cabin that carries up to eight passengers on a six-hour round trip.
The pod, called Spaceship Neptune, offers huge 360-degree views, lounger seats, and even a bar that serves cocktails.
Telescopic cameras dotted around the exterior allow passengers to get a closer look at our home planet.
Space Perspective hopes to start flying its fancy cabins from Kennedy Space Center in Florida by the end of 2024.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled a “completely new capsule design” for the Neptune spacecraft through a series of artistic impressions.
A tweet said the pod is “now in production at our Florida Space Coast campus.”
The design is largely the same as previous iterations, with a spherical capsule dangling on cables beneath a giant balloon.
With five-foot (1.5-meter) tall windows, deep seats, dark purple tones, and subdued lighting, the atmosphere contrasts with the white and sanitized pods of its competitors.
WiFi connectivity and a drinks bar complete the “Space Lounge” in the company’s Neptune capsule.
Whether it really is about space travel is controversial.
The balloon reaches a height of 20 miles (30 kilometers), much less than competitors Virgin Galactic, which are just over 50 miles high, or Blue Origin, which crosses the Karman Line, 62 miles above sea level, the internationally recognized space limit. break through .
SpaceX Crew Dragons fly even deeper into space.
But 20 miles is still a lot higher than airliners, which climb about six miles high.
“We’re over 99 percent of Earth’s atmosphere,” said co-founder Jayne Poynter, meaning passengers will truly see the inky black of space.
No special training is required. The balloon rises at a leisurely speed of 12 miles per hour (19 kilometers per hour) and the company is presenting itself as a greener, zero-emissions alternative to rocket fuel.
They intend to get the hydrogen for the balloon from renewable sources instead of getting it from fossil fuels.
The price for the two-hour trip up, two hours gliding, and two hours down, which ends with a splashdown on the ocean, is significantly less than Virgin Galactic’s tickets, which cost $450,000 for a spaceplane ride .
Blue Origin does not disclose its prices, but they are believed to be far higher.
Four entrepreneurs who flew to the International Space Station on a SpaceX ship each paid $55 million to Axiom Space for the privilege.
“We wanted to find a way that would really change the way people think about space travel and make it a lot more accessible and approachable,” Poynter said.
What passengers won’t experience is the feeling of weightlessness.
With Virgin’s spaceplane and Blue Origin’s rocket, passengers can unbuckle and hover when the rocket engines are off, but the ship continues to roll up for a few minutes before gravity pulls it back down.
Passengers on SpaceX spacecraft and on the ISS also experience apparent weightlessness as the ships orbit the Earth.
Space Perspective is planning 25 flights in its first year, with all seats now booked.
According to the company, there have been more than 600 tickets so far.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9167313/spaceship-neptune-fly-tourists-luxury-space-balloon-2/ The Neptune spacecraft features a luxury capsule that will fly tourists 100,000 feet below the “space balloon.”