Take a Look Inside a Luxury Balloon That Serves Martinis at the Edge of Space

Space Perspective’s planned $125,000-a-seat ride is heavy on the ambiance, if gazing down on Earth isn’t thrilling enough.

Space Perspective has revealed the cabin design for its upcoming Spaceship Neptune—a balloon-held capsule that, for the lofty price of $125,000, will take passengers to the edge of space.

Liftoffs aren’t slated to begin until late 2024, but newly released conceptual images of the Spaceship Neptune passenger cabin offer an early glimpse of what the experience could look like. But at $125,000 per seat, this is probably as close as any of us will ever get to actually stepping inside this thing.

The climate-controlled, pressurized interior cabin will be held aloft by a balloon as it rises to the stratosphere. Reaching a height of 20 miles (30 kilometers), passengers will have a 360-degree view of their surroundings, from which they’ll be able to see the curvature of Earth. The passengers will be able to see 450 miles (724 km) in any direction, as well as the blackness of space. By comparison, passenger jets fly at heights reaching 7.9 miles (12.7 km).

But as for actually being in space, well, that’s not going to happen. The Kármán Line—the internationally recognized boundary of space—is located 62 miles (100 km) above sea level, far from the maximum height obtainable by the disingenuously named Spaceship Neptune. That said, a refreshing cocktail or two will console you when you finally realize that you spent all that money to not go to space.

Still, the experience promises to be a good one, and at a fraction of the cost of going to bona fide space. A quick, suborbital trip on a Virgin Galactic spaceplane costs $450,000 while Axiom Space charges $55 million for a trek to low Earth orbit and a stint on the International Space Station.

For the interior design, Space Perspective aimed for a look that’s sleek and dynamic, as opposed to the “white, utilitarian environments you find in other spacecraft,” Jane Poynter, the founder, co-CEO and chief experience officer for Space Perspective, said in an emailed press release. And in keeping with its environmentally friendly message, the company plans to build the interior from sustainable and recycled materials.

Other features of the capsule include seats that can be reconfigured for intimate one-on-one dates, a spacious and unobstructed interior section (care for a dance?), floor lamps, and customizable mood lighting that includes low red LED lights to ensure that passengers “will absorb the dramatic sights of witnessing dawn, planet Earth, and stars above in space—while easily navigating their way around the Space Lounge,” according to the press release. An overhead “donut” scrolling display will convey important information as the journey progresses, and if the view isn’t satisfactory enough, passengers can peer into space or at Earth using a telescope.

Space Perspective has sold 600 tickets thus far, and the first year of service is already completely booked (in case you’re wondering, the company has approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to conduct these flights). The company is taking reservations for 2025 and beyond, but a refundable $1,000 deposit is required. The company says passengers can book the entire capsule for themselves, if they want.

Gizmodo.com

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