Space tourism firm offers fine dining on edge of space for $500,000

An artist’s impression of Spaceship Neptune.

By Chris Young,
Published by Interesting Engineering, 18 March 2024

Space Perspective won’t quite carry passengers to space, but they will be able to fine dine while watching the sunrise over Earth’s curvature.

Private companies SpaceVIP and Space Perspective have teamed up to provide a luxury dining experience in space. 

Customers willing to pay close to $500,000 will fly to the edge of space on a space balloon and eat a menu created by Danish chef Rasmus Munk, whose Alchemist restaurant has two Michelin stars.

Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune enters the testing phase next month and is expected to fly customers by 2025.

Fine dining on edge of space for $500,000

Up to six passengers will fly aboard Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune, which will fly to an altitude of roughly 19 miles (30 km). The 32-year-old Rasmus Munk will serve as host during the trip and present the passengers with a specially-created menu.

The passengers will dine while watching the sun rise over the Earth’s curvature. They will have WiFi onboard, allowing them to stream the experience to viewers on Earth.

Munk has said he wants his menu to reflect the innovative nature of the trip itself. He will use aerogel-inspired foof and encapsulated aroma, among other flashy culinary processes. 

Munk’s Alchemist restaurant in Copenhagen was recently ranked in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants guide for 2023. It offers its customers 50-course avant-garde tasting menus that can cost roughly 4,900 kroner ($460). 

Are space tourism firms democratizing space travel?

Space Perspective has said it will fly its first commercial passengers in 2025. The company will start test flights of Spaceship Neptune in April. 

Space Perspective advertizes its Spaceship Neptune as having the world’s largest capsule ever built for human space travel. It’s worth noting that, despite the name of its Spaceship Neptune, the company’s space balloon doesn’t reach space.

Maxing out at 19 miles in altitude, Spaceship Neptune reaches about halfway to the 62-mile (100-km) Kármán Line, which is the internationally recognized boundary to space. Meanwhile, The US Air Force states that anything above 80 miles can be considered space.

Still, much like Virgin Galactic, which also flies below the Kármán Line, and Blue Origin, which doesn’t reach orbital space, the experience is primarily designed to allow passengers to view Earth from a distance. By doing so, they may experience the Overview Effect, a documented psychological reaction to seeing Earth from space – leading many to reassess their priorities when they return to Earth.

While fine dining in space will provide paying customers with a sci-fi-like experience, Space Perspective’s new offering may not do much to change people’s perspectives on space tourism.

Space tourism companies often market themselves to democratizing access to space. However, firms like Virgin Galactic charge up to $450,000 for a single trip, meaning the service is reserved for the world’s wealthiest people. 

Space balloons, such as Spaceship Neptune and Barcelona firm Zero2Infinity’s Bloon, provide a slightly more affordable experience. At least, when you’re not also paying for a fine dining experience – Space Perspective’s regular ticket prices are expected to start at around $125,000.

Space balloons are also a safer form of space tourism, as no rocket fuel is required, though passengers don’t experience weightlessness at any point during the trip.

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