After the successful completion of two important test flights by Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, it appears that space tourism services from the two companies will launch sometime next year, Digitartlends reports.
Both flights rely on rockets to carry passengers somewhere near the Karman Line, the 62-mile-high above Earth boundary widely considered the beginning of space.
But another company is bent on offering the ride of a lifetime above the clouds, one that takes things at a much more relaxed pace.
Space Perspective has built and tested the Spaceship Neptune, a luxury eight-seat experimental capsule lifted into the sky by a giant hydrogen-filled airship. The interior includes lounge chairs, refreshment bar, Wi-Fi and panoramic windows
The Florida-based company this week shared its experience that includes a glimpse of what the experience will look like.
It’s worth noting that despite the use of “space” for both the company and vehicle name, the Neptune spaceship rises only 20 miles above Earth, well below the Karmann Line even though it is three times higher than a long-range passenger plane. And unlike the experiences offered by both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, there won’t be a zero-gravity experience where you can float around the capsule for several minutes.
However, the Space Perspective flight will take six hours, which is much longer than, say, the Blue Origin flight, which only takes 10 minutes from launch to landing.
Passengers on board the balloon will enjoy a comfortable two-hour ascent, another two hours to enjoy the great views, and then a two-hour descent back home.
At $125,000, a ticket to board the Neptune spaceship is a bit cheaper than a Virgin Galactic seat which means a cough of $450,000. Blue Origin has not announced pricing yet.
Space Perspective started selling tickets to try it out a few months ago. The first flights are scheduled for 2024, although the company says it was already sold out at that time, with flights for 2025 now available.
The capsule will also serve as a high-altitude laboratory, allowing scientists involved in topics such as climate and solar physics to conduct experiments in a part of Earth’s atmosphere that has so far been little researched.
The Space Perspective balloon will be launched from the Space Coast port in Florida near the Kennedy Space Center, where the company plans to add additional launch sites around the world over time.
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”