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Wed, Aug 03, 2022

Space Perspective Releases New Panoramic Capsule Design

Low-Orbit Balloon Tourism Firm Shows Off Passenger Accommodations

Spacefaring (if only just barely, given the low-Earth orbit destination) balloon tourism outfit Space Perspective has unveiled its new passenger capsule ahead of production at its Florida facility. 

The company presented crowds with the teardrop-shaped travel pod at the Kennedy Space Center, taking the chance to brag about the “only carbon neutral way to space”. The capsule, dubbed “Spaceship Neptune”, is designed to be lofted into the upper atmosphere by the company’s proprietary SpaceBalloon over the course of a day, allowing the passengers aboard to observe the beauty of the globe from above. Neptune features a number of creature comforts and safety features suited to the tour's impressive price tag, ensuring passenger enjoyment throughout the journey. Tickets are slated to begin sales in late 2024 with reservations open for 2025 and beyond at a price of $125,000 per person.

The spherical pressure vessel allows significant lounge space, with the tapered splash cone below built to attenuate splashdown as much as possible. Water landings are the go-to for safe, gentle retrieval following the Neptune’s 2-hour descent back to earth, with passengers recovered by Space Perspective ships afterwards. The panoramic, reflectively coated windows maintain a minimum of solar gain, allowing the glass expanse to provide total panoramic vision while minimizing temperature shifts throughout the long journey. The capsule’s thermal control system was a particular point of concern for the company, designed to maintain the perfect level of pressure, temperature, and structural strength throughout all flight regimes. In an address announcing the completion of the Neptune’s design, the engineers and specialists described the thinking behind their work: 

“Space travel presents a new realm of exciting challenges and creative thinking,” said Dand Window, design lead. “As design specialists we have integrated the travel experience and aesthetic – from head room and groups of Explorers being able to move around comfortably within Spaceship Neptune from chair to restroom to bar – to, of course, maximizing the once-in-a-lifetime views. The pioneering 360-degree windows will be accompanied by satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras to zoom in and out on the incredible vista. We now also have an exterior aesthetic that is every bit as powerful as the interior revealed in April - the engineering team have delivered an unsurpassable outcome in relation to performance and safety."

“As transportation designers,” he continued, “we are always looking to drive forward how and where we can take people next. Space travel is at the pinnacle of that, which is why we are excited to be working with Space Perspective to play a part in shaping this incredible experience.”

FMI: www.spaceperspective.com

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