A Closer Look at the Capsule Making Space Photo Tourism a Reality
Space Perspective, the company that wants to allow photo tourism high into Earth’s stratosphere via a giant balloon, has revealed the design behind the capsule that contains its luxury lounge.
The company says that thanks to its patent-pending capsule design, space travel is about to get safer, more comfortable, and “even more thrilling.” The new Spaceship Neptune capsule is now in production at the company’s facility near its Operations Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
When Space Perspective announced its space balloon endeavors in April, it said it would send tourists into the stratosphere in a slow, two-hour ascent aboard a climate-controlled, pressurized capsule attached to the company’s gigantic SpaceBalloon.
At the time, the company only provided a few renders of the design of the capsule, but today it has revealed more details about how tourists will soon be able to take their own photos of the curvature of the Earth from the comfort of a luxury space pod.
Space Perspective says the design of the capsule increases its safety, maximizes comfort, enhances the passenger experience, and incorporates new features such as a “pioneering spherical design” to accommodate a roomier interior with more headroom.
The space lounge also features an enhanced and patent-pending “splash cone” for a gentle and safe landing after the journey concludes — after the balloon stays at altitude for two hours it then descends over the course of two more hours and lands in the ocean, at which point a ship will retrieve the passengers, capsule, and SpaceBalloon.
Space Perspective says that the 360-degree window arrangement will not only be the largest-ever to fly to the edge of space (and provide great opportunities for photography), they are reflective coated to limit solar gain and keep the interior comfortable and cool. Along those lines, the capsule also has a separate patent-pending thermal control system.
“Space travel presents a new realm of exciting challenges and creative thinking. As design specialists we have integrated the travel experience and aesthetic — from headroom and groups of Explorers being able to move around comfortably within Spaceship Neptune from chair to restroom to bar — to, of course, maximizing the once-in-a-lifetime views,” Dan Window and Isabella Trani — world experts in the design of premium transportation systems and now Space Perspective design leads — say.
“The pioneering 360-degree windows will be accompanied by satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras to zoom in and out on the incredible vista. We now also have an exterior aesthetic that is every bit as powerful as the interior revealed in April — the engineering team have delivered an unsurpassable outcome in relation to performance and safety.”
In addition to the new closeup renders of the exterior of the capsule, Space Perspective has added a few additional interior renders as well:
Space Perspective says it is actively begun manufacturing the capsules as trips into the stratosphere have already proven popular. The company says it has sold 900 of the $125,000 tickets so far and commercial flights are targeted to begin in late 2024. The company is actively taking reservations for 2025 and beyond.
Image credits: Space Perspective