Space Balloon

If tourism company Space Perspective successfully launches its 'no rockets required' edge-of-space balloon flights, passengers will enjoy champagne toasts, panoramic views and, even, a bathroom with a view.

Circular interior of the space balloon capsule with comfy chairs and panoramic windows

Space Perspective has just unveiled the design of what it's calling the first ever "space lounge" inside its Spaceship Neptune. The area will be outfitted with panoramic windows, a bar, reclining seats, food service, Wi-Fi, customizable mood lighting, a telescope, interactive screens, floor lamps and plants and herbs for use in cocktails.

There may be a bar on board, but the flight doesn't have to be a rowdy party. "Space Perspective has designed your journey to be exhilarating and celebratory, with ample time for quiet contemplation," the company said.

Prospective passengers can plunk down a deposit on a $125,000 (£96,000, AU$167,000) ticket for a six-hour ride that will reach 100,000 feet (30,480 meters). The pressurized capsule will hold eight people plus a pilot. The company said the first year of seats are already completely reserved.

Space balloon capsule shown high above Earth

The word "space" is used liberally here. The balloon will get stunningly high, but not nearly as high as a Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic trip, and it won't reach orbit, as the SpaceX Crew Dragon does. This is the kind of gentle flight that will appeal to people who don't want to pay for a rocket ride.

The Space Lounge and Spaceship Neptune renders look glamorous, but the company is still years away from launching commercial flights from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Space Perspective is targeting late 2024 to get paying customers off the ground.



Today's OGN Sunday Magazine articles

Jane Goodall: One of the world's most celebrated primatologists and conservationists. Here are some of her inspiring quotations on hope.

Art Worth Millions: On a job to clear out an old barn in Connecticut, man retrieved hundreds of abandoned, dirt-covered paintings from a dumpster.

Meliponiculture: While most of us get honey from European honeybees, indigenous tribes in Peru's slice of the Amazon get their's from stingless bees, which seems much smarter.

Paradigm Shift in Physics: In a 'shocking' result, scientists have found that the mass of a sub-atomic particle is not what it should be. Have they discovered a fifth force of nature?

More Good News Articles: Here's a round up of last week's most popular stories (and most clicked video), just in case you would like to catch up.

Today's Videos