Space Perspective has unveiled the first images of its completed test capsule structure. The first to be designed for tourism flights under a SpaceBalloon™, the spherical capsule, together with the reserve descent system and SpaceBalloon, make up the company’s innovative spacecraft called Spaceship Neptune.
The completed capsule will be flown as part of the company’s upcoming uncrewed test flights, which pave the way for crewed test flights later next year. In 2021, Space Perspective successfully flew a capsule simulator to space under a SpaceBalloon; since then, its teams have been working on the design and manufacturing of the capsule to resume testing, which will include evaluating all corner cases and off-nominal scenarios to pass numerous safety gates.
Space Perspective’s test capsule is highly instrumented and represents what the company will be flying once commercially operational – minus the luxurious interior, which it calls the Space Lounge. Data gathered during the upcoming uncrewed test flights will inform the development of a commercial-grade capsule.
Spaceship Neptune was developed to be the most accessible, most sustainable, and safest spacecraft on or above our planet. Unlike all other spacecraft, where the crewed compartment separates from one flight system mid-flight and transfers to another flight system, Spaceship Neptune’s capsule remains secured to the SpaceBalloon during the entire flight from liftoff to splashdown, creating a seamless and safe flight – at a fraction of the cost of other space travel options.
Featuring the largest windows ever flown to space, the spacecraft, which accommodates eight Explorers and a Captain, will offer Explorers the quintessential astronaut experience of seeing Earth from the blackness of space.
Designing and manufacturing a spherical capsule structure to provide panoramic views and to operate in so many different environments is a monumental achievement and a reflection of the integrated work happening between three of the company’s Engineering teams, including Structures, led by Ryon Warren (former Boeing), Manufacturing, led by Vincent Bachet (former SpaceX), and Design, led by Dan Window (former PriestmanGoode). This critical internal partnership is something that Taber MacCallum, human spaceflight veteran and Space Perspective Founder, Co-CEO and CTO, calls “one of the greatest iterative collaborations I have ever seen.”
Added MacCallum, “I’m incredibly proud of our Engineering team. The entire company is hugely motivated by reaching this milestone together and seeing Spaceship Neptune come to life before our eyes so spectacularly.”
Earlier this year, the company officially opened its Seely SpaceBalloon™ Factory – a 700-foot long, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located at the company’s headquarters. Space Perspective is also nearing completion of its launch vessel, Marine Spaceport Voyager, which will soon arrive at its home port on the Space Coast to support test flight operations.
A seat on Spaceship Neptune costs US$125,000 with a waitlist deposit starting at US$1,000. Additional options for seat deposits and flights are contingent upon availability within the desired flight year. With more than 1,650 tickets sold and increasing demand, the company expects to raise prices next year as operations get underway.