Balloon ride to space?
Yes, if everything goes well, soon space tourists will have another option at their disposal.
Space Perspective, a new company which plans to send customers and research payloads to the stratosphere, is working on a design of Spaceship Neptune.
This balloon-borne Spaceship Neptune is a pressurised capsule which is scheduled to make its flight in the beginning of the next year. Space Perspective founder and co-CEO, Jane Poynter, said, “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,” announcing the plan of the company.
Referring to the overview effect, she also added, “Today, it is more crucial than ever to see Earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere.”
The Spaceship Neptune is a nine-seater ballon – one for the pilot and other eight for passengers. According to the company representative, this balloon will have a bar, a bathroom and huge windows to enjoy the view of the Earth.
The launch of the Spaceship Neptune will take place at the old Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Dictated by the winds, during winter it will head East over the Atlantic Ocean and during summer, it will head to the West over the Gulf of Mexico.
The craft will be pulled upwards by a massive 640 feet tall balloon filled with buoyant hydrogen. To reach the maximum altitude that is 30,000 metres, it will take up to two hours.
Space Perspective founder and co-CEO, Taber MacCallum, said, “Helium has become quite difficult to obtain. It’s used for a lot of medical practices and for launching rockets.”
During a news conference (18th June), Poynter said, “That is really this is all about. Everybody should be able to see the Earth from space.”
“Space for Humanity is cultivating a movement to expand access to space for all of humanity, and this partnership represents a big leap in making that happen,” Dylan Taylor, founder of Space for Humanity and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, said in the same statement.
Poynter and MacCallum have been working on the concept since a decade now.
“We’re already giving people seat allocations, even though you don’t have to pay any money now,” Poynter said. “That way, the early birds get at the front of the line.”
Even though ticket prices aren’t officially set, the company is encouraging people to go for this wonderful balloon ride to space.