Space Tourism 2021: Space Perspective Aims to Make Space Tourist Cruises Possible Using Stratospheric Balloons

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The future of space tourism is bright. Now, there are fresh and upcoming space entrepreneurs who want to change the way space tourism is. In a Tech Crunch report, start-up Space Perspective is planning to send passengers to space via “stratospheric balloons,” with test flights happening in 2021. 

CEOs Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum revealed this concept on Thursday that people might soon get to space with a balloon-shaped capsule known as Spaceship Nepture. MacCallum said in an interview, “Good things take time.”

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The two people behind the idea were also the individuals behind World View Enterprises, a venture based in Arizona, which aims at bringing people at an altitude of 100,000 feet for about $75,000 per ticket. This altitude is lower than the internationally recognized space boundary at 100 kilometers. However, it is high enough to see the space landscape within the black-colored velvet sky. 

In 2013, World View also sent uncrewed payloads on balloon-shaped space transports known as Stratollites. Last year, both Poynter and MacCallum introduced a new management group to lead these operations, leaving them time to plan for their next projects. 

As they commissioned a study of the space tourism market, they discovered that stratospheric travel is the right solution to the demands. 

The initial base of Space Perspective will be at the location where NASA’s space shuttles touch down, and it is at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch and Landing Facility. 

According to Tech Crunch, the experience is relatively not taking a long time, and these are rides powered by rockets as promised by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos or Virgin Galactic.

There can be eight passengers with a pilot who can get inside the pressurized capsule for a two-hour trip at 100,000 feet, brought by a hydrogen-filled balloon transport at a speed of 12 mph.

Alan Boyle of Geek Wire wrote, “After a two-hour cruise at that altitude, Spaceship Neptune would take another two hours to descend to a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. A ship would pick up the passengers, capsule, and balloon, and return them all to shore.”

Since it will last for hours, there will also be a toilet and bar inside the transport capsule, similar to what is done in airplanes. Poynter added, “It will have the best view.”

The rest of the plans are still in the works, but the CEOs said that passenger flights might begin in 2024. The tickets might cost around $125,000, or roughly around the price of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism offers. Though purchases are not yet entertained, interested buyers may now reserve via the website of Space Perspective.

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