Space Perspective: Spaceship Neptune to Bring Passengers to the Stratosphere

The interest in tourism over the surface of our planet is gaining popularity. Along with an expensive and lengthy tourist flight to the ISS, in the near future less affluent inhabitants of the Earth will have an opportunity to go to the stratosphere for a flight at the altitude of up to 30 km, using traditional balloons.

The Space Perspective company, founded in 2013, signed a contract for the preflight training of future tourists at John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The founders of the company, spouses Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter, have been promoting high-altitude balloon travels for several years.

However, the company has not carried out a single launch with people on board so far. All the flights were carried out as part of testing and for the sake of advertising projects. One of the most successful projects that have been implemented by Space Perspective is the launch of the KFC chicken sandwich into the stratosphere. Now the founders have announced their readiness to raise balloons with tourists to record heights.

The official presentation explains the concept of a balloon capsule called the Neptune Spaceship. A test launch of the aircraft is scheduled for early 2021, and tourist flights will begin as early as 2024. The capsule will be able to admit up to 6 tourists and one pilot.

Traveling on the “Neptune Spaceship” will last six hours, of which two hours will be required to reach the height of 100 thousand feet (more than 30 km) at the speed of 12 miles per hour. Then a panoramic cruise will begin, which will last another two hours and will take place at the height three times higher than the average altitude of a civilian aircraft. After that, the ship will splash in the Atlantic Ocean or in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship will collect the passengers, the capsule and the balloon and return them to shore.

The flight duration of six hours forced the developers to provide tourists with a bar counter and an airplane-type toilet located at the bottom of the capsule. According to the founder of the company, “the best view in the world” will be available from the balloon toilet. The expected price of a six-hour journey to the border of space and the stratosphere will be about 125K dollars, which is twice cheaper than the planned trip in a rocket of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space enterprise.