Would You Pay $125,000 To See The Northern Lights From A Space Balloon?
Going to the edge of space in Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shepard vehicle—as Bezos himself did in 2021—might give you an adrenaline rush, but space tourists’ view of the West Texas desert launch area is never going to change. Cue Space Perspectives’ new idea to send up capsules underneath high-altitude balloons from a vessel that can go anywhere and so have passengers see any view they want.
The sub-orbital space tourism company this week announced its plans to build multiple marine spaceports, the first of which will be called MS Voyager.
It’s currently selling tickets for the trip—which lasts two hours and reaches an altitude of about 100,000 feet—for a cool $125,000. That’s a lot less either Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic are selling their rocket-fueled trips, albeit they reach higher altitudes.
Space Perspective has sold over 1,000 tickets so far.
“We always imagined offering the opportunity to view the most incredible natural phenomena from space, including the Northern Lights, the boot of Italy, the sheer scale of the Nile Delta, and the deep blue seas around the Bahamas,” said Jane Poynter, Space Perspective’s Founder and Co-CEO.
The new mobile launch platform will, say Space Perspectives, allow it launch and location flexibility, essentially giving passengers whatever view they choose as they float up to see the curvature of Earth against the blackness of space.
Conversations are underway with destinations across the globe to offer its passengers awe-inspiring view of some of the world’s most iconic geography, said Space Perspective.
The pressurized capsule, called Spaceship Neptune, take eight people, has huge windows, WiFi and a bar. The trip ends with a gentle water landing.
“Space Perspective will change your relationship with our planet by providing the quintessential astronaut experience of viewing Earth from the blackness of space,” said Poynter, adding that the company needed to think about its business with a global mindset. “Removing geographic borders for launch and landing accelerates our mission of making this transformative experience more accessible to the world and international marketplace—safely, reliably and with minimal impact on our planet.”
Anchored at Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast, the 292-foot-long MS Voyager is now being outfitted for launch, retrieval and “space balloon” operations. The retrofit is using biofuel to reduce its carbon footprint. Test flights are planned for early 2023 and commercial operations are penciled in for 2024.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.