Couples could be having their wedding inside a capsule carried by a football stadium-sized space balloon that floats 100,000 feet (19 miles) above sea level by 2024.
Florida-based firm Space Perspective is currently selling flights on its capsules for $125,000 (£91,000) that will gift voyagers ‘insane’ views of Earth.
Capsules carried by the firm’s giant space balloons will take up to eight guests into the stratosphere, 100,000 feet (19 miles) above our planet’s surface, for a trip that lasts six hours.
Customers have already bought up entire capsules for group events and some even want to have their weddings there, according to the firm, which started selling flights at the end of June.
Others may celebrate their milestone birthday aboard a capsule or take a corporate event ‘to new heights’, the firm claims.
Passengers will be able to feast their eyes on 360-degree views of Earth while inside the capsule, which comes complete with a bathroom, bar and on-board Wi-Fi.
In June, the company’s test vehicle, Neptune One, successfully launched from the Space Coast Spaceport, adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Throughout the flight, travellers will be given food and drinks to enjoy in their reclining seats. There is also Wi-Fi inside the capsule that will allow for live social media updates
Tickets for Space Perspective’s ‘cruises’ to the stratosphere went on sale in June for $125,000. The firm is using giant space balloons to carry the luxury capsules
THE SPACE CAPSULE
The pressurised, roomy capsule will let customers experience ‘the majesty of gliding through space while sipping a beverage of choice’.
– Nine reclining, plush seats, for eight Space Explorers and a pilot.
– 360-degree panoramic windows.
– Refreshments bar and cabinet for belongings.
– Lavatory below the main deck.
– Wi-Fi connection, with communications devices to enable live streaming.
– Non-glare windows for excellent photography from inside the capsule.
– Sensors showing altitude, wind, and temperature throughout the flight.
– Instrument trunk on the capsule’s roof and below deck for research equipment.
– Splashdown Cone at base allows for smooth landing on the water.
Space Perspective is led by husband and wife team Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter and based in Florida, who recently spoke to the Observer about the interest they’ve received since flights went on sale.
Spaceflights for 2024 are sold out, but customers can still book their seat now for 2025, according to the firm’s website.
Launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and flown gently by a spaceballoon instead of rockets, a ride on the zero-emissions capsule offers ‘the thrill of space and the comfort of calm’, the firm claims.
Space Perspective will be about relaxation – it will move at only 12 miles per hour during ascent and descent.
‘It’s going to be insane!’ Poynter said. ‘We launch from the Kennedy Space Center. It takes about two hours to get to the 30 km altitude.
‘During the ascent you’ll be able to see as far as 450 miles in every direction, so you’ll see the entire Florida peninsula, the Bahamas down through the keys over into the Gulf of Mexico.
‘At peak altitude you’ll see the total blackness of space and at the same time the curvature of Earth – that iconic, thin blue line that astronauts always talk about.’
Throughout the flight, travellers will be given breakfast, can order drinks and sit back in their plush reclining seats while soaking up the exclusive views.
Non-glare windows will provide an opportunity for excellent photography from inside the capsule, the firm claims.
Balloons would be able to see each other in space from 20 to 30 miles away, and would also be visible for people on the ground.
When it is time to return to the ground, the giant balloon will begin to deflate and the capsule will eventually splash down in a large body of water.
Passengers will soar 20 miles above the surface and feast their eyes on 360-degree views of Earth while inside a capsule that provides a bathroom and bar
Pictured taken during Space Perspective’s test flight of its giant balloon that soared 20 miles above the surface in June 2021
Poynter also said that they want to provide ‘the most accessible way to go to space’ – both physically and financially.
‘Clearly, $125,000 is still not quite approachable for everybody, but it is certainly tremendously cheaper than going on a Virgin flight or any other space company’s.
‘Our vision isn’t just to take a few people to space. We want to take thousands, eventually millions, of people to space. In order to do that, we need to price it right.’
In the future, going to space will just like ‘going to Europe’, according to MacCallum.
‘It will be one of those commonplace things that everyone knows someone who has done it,’ he said.
Space Perspective does not see Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin or SpaceX – led by Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, respectively – as competitors, because the experience it will provide will be ‘completely different’.
The entire trips, from launch to the stratosphere to landing, will take a total of six hours to complete – two hours is spent in the stratosphere
But it’s been working with SpaceX and Blue Origin through weekly calls to discuss safety issues and regulatory issues and ‘share lessons learned’.
The couple also pointed out that $125,000 is cheaper than the price asked by Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin for commercial space flights.
Blue Origin said in 2018 that it was planning to charge passengers at least $200,000 for a ride to space aboard its rocket.
MacCallum told the Observer that Space Perspective’s space balloons would be regulated exactly the same way as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.
Space Perspective is now working on acquiring a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Pictured, Jeff Bezos, who is set to travel into space with his brother Mark and two other crew members on Tuesday (July 20)
‘There are some modifications we have to do because, of course, those regulations were conceived with rockets in mind and we have a balloon, so there’s a bit of translating needed,’ MacCallum said.
Blue Origin plans to send its first crewed mission into space on Tuesday (July 20) – the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of both Blue Origin and Amazon, will be on board along with his brother Mark, as well as 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen and and 82-year-old American aviator Wally Funk.
Bezos will fly up to 66 miles above the surface of the Earth on the Blue Origin New Shepherd rocket, sending him 13 miles higher than billionaire rival Sir Richard Branson who flew to space on July 11.
AVIATION PIONEER WALLY FUNK TO GO TO SPACE
Oliver Daemen (left), Wally Funk (centre left), Jeff Bezos (centre right) and Mark Bezos (right) will travel to the very edge of space tomorrow, marking the first crewed flight for Blue Origin and extending the space tourism-era
Trailblazing 82-year-old female aviator who trained as an astronaut 60 years ago but was never selected for a mission will become the oldest person to go to space.
Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk will join Amazon boss Bezos, his brother Mark as an ‘honored guest’ when they blast into space on the New Shepard rocket on July 20.
In doing so will surpass former Senator John Glenn, who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77.
The trip is 60 years overdue for Funk, who was trained to be an astronaut in 1961 as part of the Mercury 13 project.
They were a group of 13 women who underwent the same training as NASA’s Mercury 7 men but were not selected for a mission because of their gender.
Funk even scored higher than Glenn – who was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen to fly on Project Mercury in the 1960s – on some astronaut testing.
The Mercury 13 ‘successfully underwent the same physiological and psychological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA for Project Mercury,’ Blue Origin said in an email.
Bezos, 57, broke the news to Funk personally that she would be joining him on the trip.
The video shows Bezos describing the flight to Funk, and then asking her what would be the first thing she said after landing.
‘I would say, ‘Honey, that was the best thing that ever happened to me!” replies an exuberant Funk, throwing her arms around the laughing tech mogul.
A Blue Origin spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Funk will undergo ‘minimal training’ for the 10-minute flight.
Including getting acquainted with safety procedures and preparations needed to travel to space.