Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Space flights by balloon planned by new space tourism venture

Another space tourism venture has launched, which aims to send travelers into the stratosphere by balloon.

New firm Space Perspective is developing a pressurized capsule which will be elevated by a large balloon.

It is dubbed the Spaceship Neptune and will be able to accommodate nine people.

As well as large windows for star gazing, the capsule features a bar.

Credit: Space Perspective

The pressurized pod is shaped like a spinning top and is attached to a huge high-altitude balloon, marking a very different way to see the stars compared to the rocket-based alternatives Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.

It will reach the edge of space to see the Earth's curvature.

It will take two hours to float up to an altitude of 100,000 feet and will cruise for a further two hours above the Earth.

"We're committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space — both to perform much-needed research and to affect how we view and connect with our planet," said Space Perspective founder and co-CEO Jane Poynter.

Would-be space tourists will need deep pockets to enjoy the experience.

A trip will cost about $125,000.

The first test flight of Spaceship Neptune is expected to take place next year and full commercial operations are scheduled for 2024.

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