Space Perspective is a luxury space travel company that recently unveiled the patent-pending Spaceship Neptune capsule design, which is now in production at the company’s campus near the operations center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The company said it plans to send eight passengers on a “leisurely” ascent into space from a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an excursion in which they will reportedly travel up to 20 miles above the Earth’s surface for a “profoundly life-changing” experience.
“Throughout the six-hour journey, all guests will enjoy the best reclining seats in the house to soak in the 450-mile, 360-degree view, an open call on the dress, champagne, and a bathroom,” Space Perspective said in a press release.
Typical spaceflight places high demands on passengers and the planet, as millions of pounds of fuel are required for their turbulent launches. Rather than bursting through the atmosphere at g-force speeds as rockets do, Spaceship Neptune offers a “radically gentle voyage” for guests aboard the eight-person capsules, which are designed to be tugged upward by a 650-foot-tall hydrogen-filled balloon—the most eco-friendly space travel option to date.
The space balloon is also “inherently safer than rocket flight,” the company said. There have been no recorded space balloon accidents involving humans, and “no failures” in “almost 100 flights” conducted with space balloon designs that match that of Space Perspective’s Spaceship Neptune.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing to launch the “world’s first all-civilian” crew aboard its Falcon 9 rocket later this year, with funds raised from the sale of tickets going to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Tours to the International Space Station will commence at $55 million per tourist next year, and, in 2023, a SpaceX Starship led by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa—who put up an undisclosed amount of money for six seats on the spacecraft—is heading to the moon.