A new company, Space Perspective , has announced its plan to present a commercial spacecraft that can take you into the stratosphere. Actually, the “ship” is a hot air balloon .
For just $ 125,000, anyone could purchase a ticket to get on it. The balloon’s name is Spaceship Neptune , and it would start operating in early 2021.
Spaceship Neptune is a huge hydrogen-filled balloon with a small pressurized cabin hanging below. It will carry a pilot and up to eight passengers who will pay the mentioned price to go to the stratosphere at the same time; the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that extends between approximately 10 and 50 km of altitude .The 200-meter-tall balloon will take off from leased facilities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and gently rise into the stratosphere, which is technically not outer space, but is high enough to see Earth’s curvature and the darkness of the space that extends beyond.
The entire trip will last about six hours, according to the company. The balloon ship will rise to about 3 km per hour , navigate the stratosphere for about two hours, and then slowly descend. It will float in the direction of that day’s winds and land in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, where it will be rescued by a recovery boat.
The cabin will have bathrooms, a bar, seats and huge windows to enjoy the view. The team is already planning to facilitate events on the spacecraft, including a possible out-of-this-world wedding .
The giant balloon floats thanks to hydrogen, not helium.
The truth is that $ 125,000 is a relatively cheap price compared to the price of $ 250,000 on a Virgin Galactic rocket trip, or the tens of millions of dollars that a handful of wealthy people have spent to visit the International Space Station.