Space Perspective, a Florida-based company, is planning to launch a high-tech version of hot air balloons. This high-tech balloon will supposedly take the customers to the edge of Space. The spaceship will be fit to carry a pilot and eight other passengers inside a capsule-like compartment whose pressure will be set to a certain defined level. This hot-air balloon-like thing will be suspended from a huge airship or, in simpler terms, a flying machine. Space Perspective is a human space flight company. It has been planned for early 2021. This flying machine will be called the Spaceship Neptune. The space chopper will be made to land and take off from NASA’s auspicious center, the Kennedy space centre in Florida.
Although the current flights will mostly only be conducted from a research perspective, the company hopes to scale its experiences and facilities up to a level in a few years. It will be able to take tourists for short tours, which are a few hours long. They are also looking to provide tourists with facilities like refreshment bars, lounge areas, and some access to social media. The Co-CEO of Space Perspective, Jane Poynter, said in a press release that their main objective is to “change the way people have access to space,” be it for any research project to observe and connect with our planet earth.
Space Perspective is already looking at owning its launchpads just like Kennedy Space center does. It initially is going to conduct launchings from Florida’s Cecil Spaceport, but it is also looking at Kodiak in Alaska to make it into a launchpad. The Space Perspective’s website already features bookings that you can make beforehand. Sources like daily news have reported that buyers may be looking at spending about $125000 per ticket for this space tour. The six-hour-long trip will constitute the first two hours of the space chopper, just ascending slowly above 99% of the atmosphere that is about 100,000 feet. Space Perspective claims that only 20 people in the world’s history have had this experience as of current records.
After the spaceship has reached a certain height above sea level, the tourists will have another two hours to themselves in which they will get to enjoy a 360-degree view of the Space around them through a cabin with glass windows. In the last two hours, the space chopper will make its descent and land into the ocean, carry out safe landing, and then the passengers will be taken ashore with the help of a ship. The polyethylene balloon from which the cabin will be suspended will have a 100-meter diameter, which is as big as a football field. In contrast, the cabin itself will be five meters in diameter. The company also claims that boarding the Space Neptune will be as simple and hassle-free as boarding a flight. It will be a “shirt-sleeves environment.”
The Space Perspectives website noted that NASA has been using balloons like this for ages, to carry large research telescopes. “Our advanced space-balloon is designed to operate in the near-vacuum found at the edge of space,” the website further claims. Few other companies are working in this area as well. Virgin Galactic has joined hands with NASA to train astronauts to pilot such leisure travels. Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the very first privately owned spaceship with humans aboard in May. Jeff Bezos also owns a company Blue Origin that intends to make traveling to Space a thing.
Image source: CNN