At the beginning of the year, Space Perspective announced its luxury space balloon, Spaceship Neptune, would soon be ready for commercial trips. Now, a preview of the aircraft is finally available. The balloon, which looks rather like a VIP lounge than a spacecraft, will take passengers up to 100,000 feet (about 30km) and back to Earth in a journey that takes about 6 hours.
The pressurized, roomy capsule, where every seat is the best seat in the house, allows Space Explorers to experience the majesty of gliding through space while sipping their beverage of choice.Space Perspective
The cabin is designed to comfortably seat eight travellers and one pilot, with 9 reclining, plush seats that may be reconfigured to accommodate group trips, special events, like a dinner for two, or even a wedding. The interactive lighting and sound systems allow passengers to set the preferred mood, while the sensors and screens offer in-depth science data about the flight, for those embarking on the journey for research projects rather than leisure.
Plants and herbs brought onboard, such as lavender, basil and rosemary, are also used in food and drinks preparation at the bar. The Wi-Fi connection is strong enough to allow live streaming, while dark and tactile materials throughout the interior to reduce glare and reflection. The lounge is spacious enough for the travellers to stand and move freely, allowing them to make as much use as possible of the 360-degree panoramic windows, the largest flown to space. For close-up views of the Earth, there is also a telescope in the cabin.
The bar top is made from recycled balloon material and other recycled or sustainable materials are used inside the lounge. Furthermore, Space Perspective claims this is the only zero-emissions space aircraft.
I could not be more proud of the performance of the team and the flight system. It was spectacular to witness the teamwork and the high level of expertise yield such a successful result.Taber MacCallum, Space Perspective Founder & Co-CEO
A ticket for Spaceship Neptune is $125,000, with a $1,000 refundable deposit and the company has already sold about 600. The first flights are expected to take place in 2024, but those are already fully booked, reservations now only being available from 2025 onwards.