Reservations opened this week for a new luxury travel experience that will take small groups higher than ever before – up to 30 kilometres (around 10,000-feet) into the earth’s atmosphere.
Space Perspective is billed as “the world’s most radically gentle voyage to space” and has ambitions hopes to be sending people sky-high in its pressurised capsule by late 2024, if not earlier.
Guests, or “Space Explorers” as the US company calls them, will be able to journey into space minus the high g-forces or rocket propulsion often associated with space travel. Instead, they’ll be transported smoothly in pods built for up to eight people (plus a pilot) by “spaceballoons” that are the size of a football stadium.
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During the course of the six-hour “luxury spaceflight”, the spaceballoons will be inflated and rise into space, at which point they’ll spend two hours at apogee, and then deflated for their descent.
According to Space Perspective, spaceballoons are proven technology that has been used by the likes of NASA and other government agencies around the world for decades. In fact, the first person to see the curvature of the earth did so from beneath a spaceballoon back in the 1930s.
The capsule consists of reclining plush seats for each guest offering 360-degree panoramic vistas from its non-glare windows, a refreshments bar, and importantly, a bathroom positioned below the main deck. Guests will be able to connect to WiFi to share their experience throughout the journey.
On landing, capsules will “splash down” in a designated location in the sea, and guests will disembark onto a ship and be transported back to land. And there’s a back-up parachute that’s ready to launch should things go awry in flight.
Just last week, the ground-breaking first test flight of an unmanned Neptune One with a full-size capsule simulator was successfully launched, reaching 108,409-feet. It traversed the Florida peninsula before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.
“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 SpaceshipNeptune will be an extraordinary experience for our Space Explorers,” said Space Perspective co-CEO and Founder, JanePoynter.
Should all go to plan, Spaceship Neptune will be lifting off first from Florida’s Space Coast, near the Kennedy Space Center, before the concept is expanded to other destinations.
Seats on Spaceship Neptune are priced at US$125,000 per Space Explorer. Guests can hold their seat with a refundable deposit of US$1,000. Groups can secure a full capsule for 8 people with a deposit of US$8,000. Guests paying a higher deposit will be prioritised for earlier spaceflights.
For more information, see spaceperspective.com.
And the space start-up has the trade front-of-mind.
A spokesperson for the company told LATTE: “Space Perspective are very interested in partnering with luxury travel agencies and understand their value in helping them share their experience with as many people as possible.”
“It already has a few agencies who have signed agreements and they look forward to welcoming more in the coming months. They know many individuals value their travel advisor relationship and are looking forward to expanding their space flight offering to individuals through these important agency partners.”
Space Perspective is also “urgently” recruiting for a Travel Industry Sales Director to “establish, nurture and efficiently structure strong B2B partnerships with luxury travel consultants, TMCs, luxury membership accounts, consortiums and wholesaler companies”.
The full-time role is based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the salary based “from $1.00 per year”. More details here.