Technology

The spaceship Neptune will fly tourists to 100,000 feet in a luxurious “space balloon.”

SPACE fans could enjoy a view of Earth from the comfort of a giant balloon until 2024.

A new entrant to the burgeoning space tourism market says its floating cabins will carry up to eight passengers to the upper atmosphere.

Space Perspective hopes to launch cabins under giant space balloons into the upper atmosphere

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Space Perspective hopes to launch cabins under giant space balloons into the upper atmospherePhoto credit: AFP
The luxury cabins can accommodate up to eight passengers

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The luxury cabins can accommodate up to eight passengersPhoto credit: AFP

You will enjoy the sight of the curvature of the earth from the comfort of a luxurious lodge, lifted to the edge of space by a giant balloon.

Space Perspective last week revealed illustrations of its Swish cabins, which are scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning in late 2024.

To date, more than 600 tickets have been sold for $125,000 each.

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 an altitude 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, ending with a splashdown on the ocean, is significantly lower than Virgin Galactic’s tickets, which cost $450,000 for a spaceplane ride costs.

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 approachable and accessible,” 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.

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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.

To date, more than 600 tickets have been sold for $125,000 each

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To date, more than 600 tickets have been sold for $125,000 eachPhoto credit: SWNS
Passengers can enjoy the view of the curvature of the Earth from the comfort of a luxury cabin

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Passengers can enjoy the view of the curvature of the Earth from the comfort of a luxury cabinPhoto credits: cover photos
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8675254/spaceship-neptune-fly-tourists-luxury-space-balloon/ The spaceship Neptune will fly tourists to 100,000 feet in a luxurious “space balloon.”

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