In past, people have used balloons to carry lightweight things from earth to edge of space. But, now, there is a big development in this direction as Cape Canaveral, Florida-based startup Space Perspective has announced to carry passengers and research payloads to the stratosphere aboard through Spaceship Neptune, a balloon-borne pressurized capsule. According to plan, first test flight will take place in early 2021.
Having capacity to accommodate eight passengers plus one pilot, Neptune offers a bathroom and a refreshment bar. The spaceship will be launched before sunrise from Shuttle Landing Facility, located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
The balloon which lifts capsule keeps huge volume which is equal to a football stadium is filled with gas.Within two hours the spaceship will be reached at elevation of 30480 meter (100000 foot) which is above atmosphere of the earth. Blackness of our space and curvature of earth is visible here. The spaceship will float at this elevation for two hours and it will return after the gas released from balloon. The duration of returning flight takes two hours also, the spaceship will be landed in sea on a ship.
“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 our planet,” Space Perspective founder and co-CEO Jane Poynter said in a statement on June 18,2020 in a media briefing.
“Today, it is more crucial than ever to see Earth as a planet, a spaceship for all humanity and our global biosphere,” Poynter said, referencing the “overview effect” commonly cited by astronauts who have flown to space.
The launches would be regulated/observed by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight. Along with paying passengers, the flights could also include research-related payloads and the flight will be operated without crew.
Those who are interested, can reserve a seat now through official website of space perspective. As per initial information, per passenger cost will be about US$125,000.