Luxury space travel company, Space Perspective, has revealed a refinement to its Space Neptune capsule design, currently in production in Florida.
The new spherical shape of Space Neptune is an evolution of the onion-like shape originally conceived. The updated patent-pending design follows thousands of virtual flight tests, simulations and “analysis that resulted in the pioneering capsule and splash cone designs”.
When it launches, Space Perspective will feature the largest-ever, patented windows to be taken to the edge of space and a roomier Space Lounge… as its passengers – known as ‘Explorers’ – move around the capsule. The splash cone ensures Spaceship Neptune’s ocean landing is gentle and safe.
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“Explorers on board Spaceship Neptune…will safely ascend to the edge of space in the climate-controlled, pressurised capsule, propelled by a patented SpaceBalloon, absorbing the phenomenal beauty of Earth from space,” Space Perspective said.
“The six-hour round trip enables anybody who can board an airplane to soak in the beautiful views of the thin blue line circling earth below and the dark vastness of space above,” the company added.
Space Perspective says the new spherical shape of the exterior accommodates a roomier interior with more headroom, and the additional safety benefits of being optimal for pressure resistance.
The pods “splash cone” design has been refined from hundreds of digital iterations, to attenuate splashdown for a gentle and safe landing that improves customer experience and hydrodynamics.
Water landings are considered by NASA as the low-risk way of returning a capsule from space. Following the gradual, two-hour descent to Earth and a gentle splash down in the ocean, a Space Perspective crew will retrieve passengers, the capsule, and the SpaceBalloon by ship.
“Centuries of balloon and parachute operation and development demonstrate that always flying with the balloon from launch through landing, with traditional parachutes as a reserve backup system, is by far the simplest, safest and most robust solution,” said Taber MacCallum, Founder, Co-CEO and CTO of Space Perspective.
“Our proprietary flight system means that the capsule and SpaceBalloon always remain connected, and take-off and landing conditions are always within our control. The team has come together to create an amazingly robust, safe, and incredibly elegant and luxurious system for Spaceship Neptune. Simplicity and automation are the keys to safety,” MacCallum added.
Tickets on Spaceship Neptune are priced at US$125,000. To date, Space Perspective has sold close to 900 tickets. Commercial flights are targeted to begin in late 2024. Reservations are now being accepted for 2025 and beyond.