Spaceship Neptune: Space Perspective wants to take tourists on balloon rides to the stratosphere
Spaceship Neptune Uses a Balloon to Take Tourists to the Edge of Space
Transport design studio PriestmanGoode has developed a concept for a high-performance balloon and pressurised capsule for Space Perspective to take space tourists on a “cruise” around the stratosphere.
The project is a partnership between Spaceship Perspective and design firm Priestman Goode, and will see a group of up to eight tourists or researchers make a six-hour journey to the stratosphere.
Just this year, daredevil “Mad” Mike Hughes perished in an attempt to get there in a homemade rocket.
Neptune is a pilot-operated balloon-borne pressurized capsule that will take off and make a two-hour ascent to 100,000 feet (30,480 meters), where it cruises for another two hours. This offers guests ample time to take in the views and even to get active on social media with their impressions of the experience, before starting the descent that also takes two hours.
For landing, the entire thing plunges into the sea and a ship comes to retrieve the capsule, the balloon and, of course, the passengers.
idea might seem like a fun thing to do for the billionaires of the world, but Spaceship Perspective says making space more approachable for the common folk is just one aspect of the project. The Neptune, as noted above, will also carry researchers and, in time, can function as a sort of mobile laboratory.
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,
Space Perspective founder and co-CEO Jane Poynter says in a press release announcing the Neptune.
The first unmanned test flight is scheduled tentatively for 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All launches by the Neptune will be regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.
And here’s how having a drink and a chat on the edge of space could possibly look in the Spaceship Neptune.