You have probably already enjoyed the pleasures of a good coffee espresso settled in an armchair, with pleasant company, better chat and background music; but… Can you imagine having all that while you contemplate the Earth at an altitude reserved until now for only a handful of privileged people, a unique panoramic view 30,000 meters high? And do it on board a capsule with a decoration worthy of a Ritz-Carlton hotel? If you have a generous checking account, you don’t need to ask so much of your imagination. Space Perspective is offering it to you for $125,000.
In mid-2020 the company, a startup based in the United States, launched its peculiar proposal for “space flights” – a term that must be used in quotes because the height it reaches is far from the Kármán Line – with a balloon full of hydrogen. Basically, what the company proposes is to ascend for two hours on board its Neptune capsule until reaching 100,000 feet (about 30.5 km), “above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere”, and once there enjoy from two hours of privileged views before starting another two hours of descent.
During the return, the balloon gradually releases its hydrogen load, although the ship also incorporates a parachute system in case it is necessary. The adventure lasts a total of six hours and once completed, the capsule – named Neptune and designed to accommodate the pilot and eight passengers – ends up on the deck of a ship. According to Interesting Engineering, the company completed its first flight last year and its plans are to be fully operational by 2024 and schedule some 25 annual flights. Those planned for its first season are already reserved.
A privileged 360º view
Space Perspective’s proposal is different from the “space tourism” experiences in which other companies work. The height it reaches is far from the 86 km that Richard Branson climbed during his flight in the VVS Unity or the 106 of Jeff Bezos aboard the New Shepard. In return, the duration is superior. Although it is not within the reach of all pockets, its ticket of 125,000 dollars is also much cheaper than the 28 million dollars that came to be paid on the inaugural flight of the New Shepard or the 450,000 of Virgin Galactic’s suborbitals.
To whet your appetite and encourage us to save the cost of a ticket, Space Perspective allows virtual visits to its Spaceship Neptune, a capsule equipped with reclining armchairs, 360-degree panoramic views, screens, a telescope that allows you to look (even) closer any geographical accident or object of space and tables. The cabin is equipped with WiFi and, says the company, “the largest windows ever flown into space.” If you have to go to the bathroom for a moment, don’t worry; you won’t miss a thing. They also have windows there.
In order for the experience to be round, the trip is programmed in such a way that the descents begin after the sun has risen. A unique print that would have delighted Jules Verne. Of course, it is only suitable for travelers with a good number of zeros in their current account.
Images | Space Perspective
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism