You Can Now Book A Trip To Space For $125K
Forget one of Elon Musk’s rockets – for just $125,000, you can ride a hot air balloon to space.
Every month, there seems to be a step towards commercial space travel, whether it’s Jeff Bezos blasting off with his brother, Musk’s SpaceX, Tom Cruise and Russia attempting to make the first movie above the atmosphere or Sir Richard Branson kicking off a billionaire space race.
For the lowly mortals without millions to spare, it’ll be a while before we orbit our own planet. However, if you’ve got $125,000 saved up, you can take off to the edge of the atmosphere on a balloon filled with hydrogen. Don’t worry, they’ve specifically built it to avoid a Hindenburg-style disaster.
Florida-based Space Perspective is now taking reservations on its Spaceship Neptune for flights in early 2024, with each trip holding eight passengers and a pilot.
The balloon-borne pressurised capsule will take travellers to an altitude of 100,000ft, where they’ll be treated to incredible views of Earth through panoramic windows. It’s conceived as a somewhat luxurious experience, with a bar on-board for those who fancy a pint in space and a far gentler ascent than one would feel on a rocket.
‘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 said last year, as per CNN.
Last Friday, June 18, the company launched its first test flight from the Space Coast Spaceport in Florida, just next door to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. The uncrewed flight reached a height of 108,409ft, taking six hours and 39 minutes before splashing back down in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a statement, Co-CEO Taber MacCallum said he ‘could not be more proud of the performance of the team and the flight system. It was spectacular to witness the teamwork and the high level of expertise yield such a successful result’.
‘This test flight of Neptune One kicks off our extensive test flight campaign, which will be extremely robust because we can perform tests without a pilot, making Spaceship Neptune an extremely safe way to go to space,’ he added.
‘It is an incredible privilege launching from the space coast, where the history of human spaceflight was forged over the past decades and continues to build momentum today. Flying on Spaceship Neptune will be an extraordinary experience for our Space Explorers,’ Poynter added.
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