Luxury tourism spaceship to include recliners, bar

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(NewsNation) — If you’ve ever dreamed of sipping a cocktail at the top of the world, your chance might be coming.

Space Perspective has finalized its design for Spaceship Neptune, a sleek space capsule and lounge that will take passengers 12 miles above Earth’s surface in a balloon.

The capsule will come with breathtaking 360 degree views of the Earth and space, along with luxury amenities including reclining seats, informational touch screens and a full bar. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, for only $125,000 per ticket.

Taber MacCallum, founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective, said the team designed the capsules to be open and inviting, unlike the cramped spaces often seen on other spacecraft. It was a complete rethinking of space tourism.

“This is like a dream for people that want to go to space, but the rocket ride is scary,” MacCallum said. “It’s all about accessibility for people that otherwise couldn’t have an experience of seeing the Earth and space.”

Unlike Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the Spaceship Neptune will have no turbulence or zero gravity situations, and it promises passengers a calm, six-hour, emissions free experience. The balloon travels upward at 12 mph, making the ride accessible for anyone who can travel on a commercial airline.

“The whole experience is really gentle, really accessible. And it’s long, there’s time to look out the window, there’s time to see the earth slowly falling away,” MacCallum said. “Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have awesome experiences and we work very closely with them. I’m not even sure I’d call them a competitor. We have a lot of people who have tickets on both.” 

The company plans on taking up to eight passengers at a time, and the capsules are equipped with a state-of-the-art proprietary flight system that gives the Space Perspective team control over takeoff and landing conditions. 

“We did test flights, a lot of computer modeling, and it turns out, you can use the balloon to come back from the edge of space. And so by going up under balloon, floating under balloon and coming down slowly under balloon, the backup system of parachutes is always just a backup,” MacCallum said. “So it’s the safest, simplest way, really, to go to the edge of space and back.”

It’s the latest step forward for the 3-year-old company, headquartered near the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida. The company plans to build a 120,000-square-foot Titusville, Florida manufacturing facility by 2023, creating 240 full-time, high-wage jobs by 2026. The first flights are expected to launch in 2024.

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