In about four years, ordinary people will be able to travel to the space environment aboard a balloon and observe the curvature of our planet. I mean, if they have around $125,000 for this fantastic ride.
Startup Space Perspective is the one who will make it happen — an unmanned test flight is scheduled for early 2021, followed by a manned test flight in 2023, with commercial operations starting around 2024.
Thereafter, plans are to deliver 500 missions a year before the end of this decade. The startup is a rookie, having been revealed to the world this week.
Founded in 2019 by Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, the company is developing a manned capsule called the Spaceship Neptune, capable of carrying up to eight passengers and a pilot into space.
The ascent happens with a hydrogen balloon – so don’t imagine a rocket launch, or a flight in a combination of plane and spacecraft as is the case of SpaceShip Two, by Virgin Galactic.
Space Perspective flights, by the way, will cost half the price of a seat aboard the Virgin spacecraft.
(Image: Space Perspective)
The launches are expected to take place from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and the company says its goal is to provide people with the so-called “overview effect” experienced by astronauts when they see Earth from space.
This term describes the feeling of reflection that many people have in these moments, a mixture of admiration for our planet, so unique and special, with feelings that, in fact, we are very small amid the vastness of the universe.
In addition to seeing Earth from above, the balloon ride will also allow tourists to observe the planet Neptune in the night sky after a two-hour ascent. In addition, the trip can also be used by scientists to carry out various experiments.
Those who are there will admire the beautiful view through parabolic windows that go from floor to ceiling of the capsule, which also has a glass dome at the top.