Space travel is no longer a dream, because now for $ 125,000 everyone can book a ticket for space. This attractive deal is being offered by Space Perspective, a space tourism company that has created a balloon-operated space capsule called Neptune One for commercial space flights. Neptune did his thing first test flight in June 2021 and from the same month Space Perspective also started accepting space flight reservations in 2024, 2025 and beyond.
During the proposed space flights, Neptune plans to carry passengers 100,000 feet (about 30 km or 18.64 miles) in the sky. However, according to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), outer space actually begins at an altitude of 330,000 feet (100 km or 62 miles) from Earth. So technically, passengers aboard the Neptune One will only be called space tourists (just like Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos), not astronauts.
Review of the Space Perspective Neptune One spacecraft
The Neptune One spacecraft is divided into three main parts; a large (about 326 feet-100 meters in diameter) flying space balloon that works on the same technology used by NASA in its stratospheric balloons, a pressurized space capsule allowing passengers to have a 360-degree panoramic view of the space inside, and a spare parachute descent system for safe landing of the spacecraft in the event of an accident.
Space agencies and companies around the world have already used space balloons for wear telescopes, robotsand other space-related research equipment. Neptune’s advanced space balloon is designed to transport the passenger capsule into space using hydrogen gas (traditional ground-based balloons use helium). Unlike the heavy space rockets used by major space companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, the Neptune One space balloon is light and does not cause harmful emissions.
During each flight, the pressure capsule hanging under the space balloon will carry nine space passengers (one pilot and eight passengers) for a total of six hours, of which passengers will spend two hours at an altitude of 100,000 feet (30 km or 18.64). ) miles).
The company’s website also mentions that in addition to the passenger seats, the Neptune capsule will also include a refreshment bar, communication devices, glare-free windows, personal cabinets, Wi-Fi, a bathroom and all other necessary amenities from which to need space tourists during their flight.
Jane Poynter, co-executive director of Space Perspective, told CNN that their the company is committed to transform people’s perspectives on both Earth and space, saying: “We are committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to carry out much-needed research for life on Earth, and for influencing the way we look at and connect with our planet.
Where is Space Perspective’s Neptune against the other players?
Despite the strong presence of companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, it seems that Space Perspective has managed to stand out in the field of space tourism. All seats and slots for the Neptune One spaceflight, which will launch in early 2024, have been reserved. Space Perspective is getting a really good response for its proposed space operations, the company has sold a total of 450 seats so far and now accepts reservations for 2025 only.
On the other hand, both Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, who have already traveled in space on their own, are yet to announce the dates for their fully commercial space flights. Elon Musk may be a little ahead of them in the race, as recently SpaceX Inspiration4 completed a successful three-day all-civilian space mission. During the flight, the SpaceX Inspiration4 spacecraft climbed about 363.5 miles (585 km) up into space, the farthest distance traveled by Apollo’s space program.
Still, when it comes to ticket prices, Space Perspective seems to be the most cost-effective, subarbital space travel, offering only $ 125,000 per passenger. While Virgin Galactic recently announced that a place on their VSS Unity space rocket will do it costs $ 450,000. Even more surprising is that the four passengers aboard the SpaceX Inspiration 4 are said to have paid $ 55 million each for their fantastic space voyage.
However, Blue Origin has not yet declared fares for customers who are looking forward to traveling in space in its New Shepard space rocket. The company had previously sold the site for $ 28 million first flight of the crew launched in July 2021 (later the anonymous candidate resigned and the position was given to the Dutch teenager Oliver Damon – Daman’s father, founder of the private investment company Somerset Capital Partners, paid an undisclosed amount for the position).
However, compared to the six-hour space experience offered on the Neptune One, passengers traveling in the Blue Origin space rocket could spend only 11 minutes of their lives in space.
IN recent interview s Business Insider, The founder of Space Perspective Jane Poynter revealed that Space Perspective aims to launch its first crew test in 2023. Then, most likely from next year, commercial space missions, and by 2030 their company plans to carry out around 500 space trips a year.
For now, the Neptune One looks like an effective and promising option for suborbital space travel. However, it would be very interesting to see how popular and successful this super-calm space balloon technology is, among the range of fast space rockets being developed by billions of companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.