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February 21, 2024updated Feb 22, 2024

First Look: Space Perspective’s Sleek New Neptune Capsule

Test flights are slated to commence in the next few months.

By Irenie Forshaw

For those who feel like they’ve done it all, a journey to the edge of space might just be the final trip to tick off the bucket list. And, if Space Perspective’s first-look images of its test capsule, Neptune, are anything to go by, there won’t be any need to sacrifice comfort, either.

The space tourism company’s gleaming new pressurized capsule will be propelled by an enormous SpaceBalloon™ taking guests on an unforgettable six-hour voyage to the edge of space. Powered entirely by renewable hydrogen, the carbon-neutral spacecraft completely eschews the heavy emissions produced by rockets.

After making a two-hour gentle ascent at around 12mph to 100,000 ft above Earth, the vessel will begin its descent, finally splashing into the ocean where a ship will be waiting to take intrepid travelers back to dry land. There will be no g-forces or feelings of weightlessness onboard Neptune, scrapping the need for any intense pre-flight training. The idea is that the entire journey is as easy as flying by plane.

[See also: Elite Traveler Reveals the Top Adventures in the World]

space perspective neptune capsule exterior
The six-hour voyage will take guests on a journey to the edge of space / ©Space Perspective

So what do we know about the new capsule? Spanning 16 feet in diameter, the spherical spacecraft has a pressurized volume of 2,000 cubic feet (Space Perspective claims this is almost twice the size of Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two).

Ensuring guests have ample opportunities to soak up the views, Space Perspective’s Neptune capsule features vertical windows that have been specially designed to screen out harmful sunlight rays while controlling the temperature onboard. Over 100 mock-ups of interior layouts were trialed to design the luxurious Space Lounge. Throughout the journey, guests will be treated to gourmet meals, cocktails and an array of amenities you would expect from a first-class flight (there’s also a proper restroom onboard).

On stepping foot inside for the first time, capsule design lead, Dan Window, commented: “It’s been over a decade of work with Jane [Poynter] and Taber [MacCallum]. I teared up. To see our designs become reality and to know that we will be taking people to space to have this life-changing experience in this beautiful capsule. It’s a dream.”

[See also: Experience a Great Peruvian Odyssey]

space perspective neptune windows
Vertical windows let guests soak up the panoramic views / ©Space Perspective
neptune space perspective
A seat onboard Neptune costs $125,000 / ©Space Perspective

Taber MacCallum, Space Perspective’s CTO, added: “We are on the cusp of a staggering shift – not only in the way we humans experience space but also what we conjure in our minds when we think of the spaceship that gets us there. We are redefining the category and paving the way for accessible space travel for the years to come.”

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As you can imagine, tickets onboard Space Perspective’s Neptune capsule don’t come cheap. A seat costs $125,000 while the entire eight-seat capsule is priced at a cool $1m for the six-hour journey. If you’re hoping to secure a spot, you’ll need to be patient. The company recently revealed that tickets are already sold out for the next few years; there is an option to join the coveted waiting list. The capsule is currently preparing to undergo test flights following weeks of ground testing, with the first commercial flights slated to launch off Florida’s Space Coast later this year.

[See also: See Sossusvlei from Above with Namib Sky Balloon Safaris]

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