This 8-passenger luxury balloon could be the next stage in space tourism

While space travel has been a longtime dream for many people, it has largely been reserved for astronauts, elite scientists, and the uber wealthy. Now, Space Perspective — a company dedicated to making space travel a reality — has launched a new spacecraft called Spaceship Neptune.

The goal of Space Perspective is to make space tourism a more viable option for those who have always dreamed of venturing beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The company has recently released the first images of its test capsule structure, a significant milestone in its goal to make space travel a destination for tourists.

Fox News Digital reported that Spaceship Neptune will be carried up to space by a massive hydrogen balloon that’s the size of a football field. The balloon will apparently lift the capsule up to an altitude of 100,000 feet.

When an individual gets that high, they are able to see the curvature of the Earth and the immense darkness of space. The entire trip would take about six hours — two hours going up, two hours of sightseeing, and two hours slowly descending back down. The capsule would safely land, gliding on the waves of the ocean, until they were picked up, according to the report.

One of the key features of Spaceship Neptune that would appeal to potential tourists is the way in which the capsule rises. While traditional rocket launches subject passengers to uncomfortable g-forces, the capsule would gradually rise into the atmosphere at just 12 miles per hour.

In doing so, Spaceship Perspective would make it possible for someone able to fly on a commercial flight to take the tour by removing the physical barriers that have historically limited who can see space firsthand.

Space Perspective states that it places safety above everything else, and Spaceship Neptune reportedly comes equipped with a backup descent system in case something goes awry. The backup descent system includes four parachutes, which can take over during an emergency situation, ensuring a safe landing for those aboard.

Fox News Digital reported that the company has claimed it has a 100% success rate with the backup descent system, which could provide peace of mind to the passengers who may be apprehensive about the potential dangers involved.

Though Spaceship Neptune may sound like a nice time for many people, it is still going to be outside the budget of the average consumer. The price of a single seat will be around $125,000.

However, those who wish to get in on the action right away can put down a $1,000 refundable deposit to secure their seat for the first trip.

Each trip can accommodate up to eight passengers and one pilot. The company has also suggested that those looking for something even more lavish can book a priority flight or a full-capsule experience for special occasions, such as family reunions, a corporate event, or even a milestone event, such as an anniversary.

Despite the allure of such an experience, the capsule will not be ready for some time.

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