This space tourism startup will send you to space in a balloon for only $125,000
2021 has been a great year form for the private space tourism industry. Thanks to companies like Virgin Galactic and Bezos’ Blue Origin, space travel which was once reserved for superpowers like Russia and the United States, is now available to the superrich or anyone who can afford it.
In October, William Shatner became the oldest person to go to space after he flew aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard. At 90 years old, Shatner who played Captain Kirk became the oldest person to travel to space and cross the Kármán line at over 328,000 feet above the Earth. The “Star Trek” star and three others went to the edge of space in a tourist spacecraft built called NS-18, the New Shepard mission.
Just yesterday, we wrote about crypto pioneer and founder of Tron Justin Sun after he revealed himself as the anonymous bidder who paid $28 million in an auction for a seat to join Bezos aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed mission in July. However, for those who cannot afford to spend millions of dollars on space travel, you can still experience the thrills of space travel through Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the voyage is going set you back $250,000.
If $250K is still out of your reach this startup might be able to offer you the kind of experience that will not break the bank. If you’re interested in taking a trip beyond the atmosphere, this may be the perfect time for you to experience a trip of a lifetime to enjoy a space view from 100,000 feet in a ride aloft in Space Perspective’s balloon-borne “Neptune” crew cabin.
Space Perspective is a new space travel startup that aims to take tourists on balloon rides to the stratosphere. Unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which is priced at $250,000, Space Perspective expects to charge around $125,000 per passenger.
The Florida-based startup announced it is flying people and research payloads to the edge of space aboard Spaceship Neptune, a balloon-borne pressurized capsule that’s scheduled to make its first test flights early next year. So far, over 500 seats have been reserved with spaceflights for 2024 already sold out. While the startup currently operates out of the Florida spaceport, the system could be launched from multiple sites around the world, with Hawaii and Alaska near-term possibilities.
On June 18th, 2021, the startup launched its Neptune One test flight from the Space Coast Spaceport, adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The un-crewed vehicle flew the entire flight path to over 100,000 feet across the Florida peninsula, similar to the one our Explorers will fly.
“We’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to perform much-needed research to benefit life on Earth and to affect how we view and connect with our planet,” said Space Perspective Founder and Co-CEO Jane Poynter. “Today, it is more crucial than ever to see Earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere.”
Though Spaceship Neptune’s customers will not experience weightlessness, company founder and Co-CEO Taber MacCallums is promising “opportunities for civilian astronauts to experience this planet Earth from the edge of space, a privilege previously available to only a few.”
The company has completed extensive international market research and a new design built on 50+ years of proven technology. Spaceship Neptune was developed from the ground up for maximum safety, accessibility, near-zero emissions, and routine operations around the world. The balloon measures the length of a football stadium and the pressurized capsule is comfortable and spacious.
Flown by a pilot, Neptune takes up to eight passengers called “Explorers” on a six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back, where only 20 people have been before. It will carry people and research payloads on a two-hour gentle ascent above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet, where it cruises above the Earth for up to two hours allowing passengers to share their experience via social media and with their fellow Explorers. Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers, the capsule, and the balloon. Neptune’s commercial human spaceflight launches are regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.
“Following the return of human spaceflight from U.S. soil just a few weeks ago, people have never been more excited about space travel,” said Founder and Co-CEO Taber MacCallum. “Few endeavors are more meaningful than enabling people to experience the inspiring perspective of our home planet in space for the betterment of all, and that’s what we are accomplishing with Space Perspective.”
The Space Perspective’s magnificent, safe suborbital flight via space balloon will smoothly fly you to the edge of space. Soak in the curvature of our beautiful planet against the blackness of space, while gently sailing along inside the revolutionary, near-zero-emissions Neptune capsule above the rich colors of the Earth below.
Below is a video of Spaceship Neptune in action.