New balloon-spaceship could transport travellers into space (PHOTOS)

Jun 22 2020, 1:09 pm

There are certainly, and understandably, a lot of restrictions surrounding travel right now, but what if we told you that you could venture somewhere where none of these limitations currently exist? That’s right. Your first trip into space may not be as far away as you might think.

Space Perspective, a “human space flight company,” is offering adventurous, adrenaline-seeking travellers the remarkable opportunity to venture to the edge of space.

The company recently revealed its new vessel, the Spaceship Neptune, a “high-performance balloon and pressurized capsule” that will transport passengers and research payloads outside Earth’s atmosphere.

Space Perspective

Space Perspective

A research payload consists of instruments for experimentation and data collection.

“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,” the founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective, Jane Poynter, said in a release. “Today, it is more crucial than ever to see Earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere.”

The creation of Spaceship Neptune was motivated and inspired to ensure the highest level of safety and accessibility as well as produce “near-zero-emissions” for operations across the world, the release explains. The balloon is equal to the length of a football stadium, and the pressurized capsule allows ample space for passengers to sit comfortably. 

Space Perspective

Space Perspective

The vessel itself is flown and operated by a pilot and can hold up to eight passengers — which the company describes as “Explorers.” The journey will take six hours to venture to the edge of space and back, “where only 20 people have been before,” the release states.

The journey will take passengers and research payloads on a two-hour ascent above “99% of the world’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet,” where it remains above Earth for upwards of two hours, providing passengers with the opportunity to capture and share their experience.

Space Perspective

Space Perspective

Neptune then descends for two hours under the balloon where it will land in the ocean, and passengers will be picked up by a ship, along with the capsule and balloon.

While no official date has been set for a commercial flight aboard the Spaceship Neptune, the first uncrewed test flight is scheduled for early 2021, and Space Perspective anticipates launching from the iconic Kennedy Space Center in Florida.