Imagine gliding into space in a pressurized capsule via a huge balloon the size of a football stadium. That’s how one startup plans to take tourists on suborbital journeys 100,000 feet above Earth.
Passengers will be able to observe stunning views during a six hour journey. They will also be able to sip on cocktails from a bar aboard the vessel. (Yes, there’s a bathroom.)
The voyage will happen “very gently and smoothly” and provide passengers “the quintessential astronaut experience,” Jane Poytner, co-founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective, told.
“It’s a completely different experience,” she added, noting the panoramic views from the capsule are life-changing.
“You will have that incredibly black sky. When we take you up predawn, you’ll get the most outrageous star gaze you’ve every seen,” said Poytner. “It is profoundly moving.”
“It really changes the way you see the world forever, and that will actually have a trickle effect across society as an increasing number of people go,” she added.
Seats cost $125,000 each, including a $1,000 refundable deposit. The cost is comparatively less expensive than Virgin Galactic’s (SPCE) $450,000 voyages 262,000 feet above the earth, which are expected to commercially launch late this year.
“Remember we’re at the very beginning of the industry. Every industry that has changed the world, like aviation, like computers, when they start out, it was very difficult to imagine a vast number of people using computers or airplanes,” said Poytner. “The same is going to be true for space travel. It’s just going to take a little bit of time for the price to come down as it scales.”
Space Perspective is planning its first piloted test flight in 2023 and initial commercial voyages in 2024.