By Christopher Carbone,
Published by the Daily Mail, 28 July 2022
Florida-based Spaceship Neptune unveils luxury pod – complete with a bar – that travels 20 miles above Earth for $125,000 per person (but at least drinks are included!)
- Space Perspective has unveiled a final design for its Spaceship Neptune capsule
- The spherical pod will be propelled 20 miles into space by a huge balloon, which the company says makes for a much smoother ride
- Up to eight passengers at a time can enjoy panoramic views of Earth while reclining in oversized seats and sipping cocktails – at a cost of $125,000 per person
- There will also be satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras on the capsule to allow passengers to zoom in and out on our home planet
If you ever wanted to have a martini in space – here’s your chance.
Space Perspective has finalized its design for Spaceship Neptune, a sleek-looking capsule that will offer epic views 20 miles above Earth and luxury amenities – if you don’t mind forking over $125,000 per ticket.
Unlike Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which have the all the flight turbulence one would expect from a rocket and a plane – plus the ability to float free thanks to zero gravity – Space Perspective promises a calm experience since its spherical pod is being propelled into the planet’s stratosphere by a balloon.
The Florida-based company, which is constructing Spaceship Neptune near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, is planning to offer up to eight passengers at a time the chance to soak up panoramic views of Earth during the six-hour round trip.
The new design is a product of ‘thousands of in-depth analyses’ done in collaboration with a software firm called Siemens Digital Industries. Space Perspective’s offering is the latest in the ongoing space tourism effort – with some key differences from rivals Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.
The Spaceship Neptune will go 20 miles above Earth, as opposed to Blue Origin’s 65 miles and Virgin Galactic’s 50 miles, and it will stay at the edge of space for two hours. You’ll also be able to hold your martini steady since you won’t experience zero gravity, whereas during Blue Origin’s launch last year the crew experienced about three minutes of weightlessness in a trip that only lasted 11 minutes from start to finish. Virgin Galactic’s trip was about two and a half hours with Branson and his team only weightless for five minutes.
Space Perspective trips cost far less than Virgin Galactic’s, which are $475,000 a pop, and Blue Origin’s, which have ranged as high as $28 million for one seat at auction in June 2021.
‘Centuries of balloon and parachute operation and development demonstrate that always flying with the balloon from launch through landing, with traditional parachutes as a reserve backup system, is by far the simplest, safest and most robust solution,’ said Taber MacCallum, founder, co-CEO and CTO of Space Perspective, in a statement.
Space Perspective’s balloon is fueled by hydrogen and the company notes that this makes for a safe experience because the air itself isn’t mixing with hydrogen.
‘Our proprietary flight system means that the capsule and SpaceBalloon always remain connected, and take-off and landing conditions are always within our control. The team has come together to create an amazingly robust, safe, and incredibly elegant and luxurious system for Spaceship Neptune.’
The larger capsule allowed for a roomier interior that can hold two more passengers than the design shown in October of last year. The interior has deep seats that recline, what the firm calls ‘mood lighting,’ a restroom and a bar. There will be satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras on the capsule to allow passengers to zoom in and out on our home planet.
Space Perspective is privately funded and has raised a total of $65 million in two rounds since November of 2021.
Space Perspective, which bills itself as the world’s first ‘luxury spaceflight experience company,’ has already sold 900 tickets but you’ll need to have some patience once you’ve put down your $1,000 deposit since commercial flights won’t begin until late 2024.
MacCallum also announced the two team members leading the design team for Spaceship Neptune – Dan Window and Isabella Trani, who have worked on design for the New Tube for London as well as Elon Musk’s Hyperloop train.
‘As design specialists we have integrated the travel experience and aesthetic – from head room and groups of Explorers being able to move around comfortably within Spaceship Neptune from chair to restroom to bar – to, of course, maximizing the once-in-a-lifetime views,’ Window and Train explained.
‘We now also have an exterior aesthetic that is every bit as powerful as the interior … the engineering team have delivered an unsurpassable outcome in relation to performance and safety.’
The manufacturing of Spaceship Neptune has already begun in a massive area of the NASA KSC Shuttle Landing Facility.
‘The Apollo era inspired two generations of scientists and engineers, not just to pursue careers in space but reminded us that we could do anything we set our minds to,’ Jane Poynter, a co-founder of Space Perspective, previously told DailyMail.com.
‘That was the saying – ‘if we can go to the moon, then surely we can do x.’ Spaceflight has an extraordinary power to inspire people of all ages.’
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