The Space Perspective
Only a fraction of humanity has seen our fragile planet from space. Those who do are inevitably changed forever. It’s something about the curve of the earth, the thin ribbon of atmosphere, the shapes of continents outlined beneath the swirling clouds. It’s a fresh perspective.
This foundation-shaking experience is what Space Perspective is hoping to bring to the public in 2021. Founded by balloon experts Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, Space Perspective will send eight passengers and one pilot 100,000 feet into the air on a six-hour journey to the edge of space. For the record, that’s 3x higher than a commercial jet flies. It’s even higher than U2 spyplanes fly. And the vehicle that does it, Spaceship Neptune, also has a bar.
As a passenger, you’ll start your journey before dawn on the runway of a historic NASA facility on Florida’s Space Coast. The Neptune Capsule is cone-shaped, with luxurious reclining seats, wall-to-ceiling windows, and lavatory (because you’ll be sipping cocktails on the way up). Once everyone is aboard, the Neptune Capsule is lifted into the stratosphere by a hydrogen-filled space balloon the size of a football field. The journey up takes two hours, and you’ll get to see stars of unparalleled clarity and a sunrise like you’ve never witnessed before. The capsule is pressurized and comfy – no bulky spacesuits or astronaut training needed. There are very minimal physical requirements to qualify for the trip.
A World-Class View
Once in the stratosphere, you’ll float peacefully above the planet for two hours. The capsule is spacious enough for weddings, corporate retreats, and all kinds of special occasions. A communications package at the tip of the capsule even allows you to live-stream your events to your grounded friends back on earth.
The large windows are gold-tinted to protect you from UV rays, but afford a view unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. There’s even an observation bubble at the top of the capsule, allowing a 360-degree space-flight experience. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
The team at Space Perspective is chock full of former astronauts, NASA employees, engineers, meteorologists, and other scientists. They care deeply about high-altitude research. Chances are your flight will double as a data-gathering expedition – the Neptune Capsule has plenty of space for an instrument payload. There might even be a scientist among your fellow passengers, busily running an experiment while you toast the stars.
After hours of perspective-altering altitude, it’s time to begin your two-hour descent. Spaceship Neptune is incredibly safe – it is designed and constructed by some of the most experienced high-altitude balloon experts in the world. Members of the Space Perspective team hold the record for the highest space-dive ever recorded, and they’ve been in the balloon business for over thirty years. A sensor package onboard the capsule constantly relays weather information to the pilot, and each flight is run with the help of NASA experts on the ground. An emergency parachute is always partially deployed and ready to take over from the balloon at a moment’s notice.
After you re-enter the atmosphere, your capsule will slip into the water near a ship standing by to shuttle you back to terra firma. Your cushy seats recline for maximum comfort during splashdown. Your whole journey took six hours, but your perspective will be forever changed.
A Global Perspective
Jane Poynter, Space Perspective founder and Co-CEO, phrases it like this: “We’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to perform much-needed research to benefit life on earth and to affect how we view and connect with your planet. Today it is more crucial than ever to see earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere.”
Space Perspective will begin running uncrewed expeditions in 2021, with crewed flights coming shortly after.