Balloon to Fly Tourists to Edge of Space
Two companies, Space Perspective and PriestmanGoode, are working together to make a balloon that will fly passengers to the edge of space. I will be called Spaceship Neptune.
The balloon will use hydrogen to float up over 30 kilometres, more than twice as high as a passenger plane. Below the balloon, there’s a capsule with seats for eight passengers and one pilot.
Nigel Goode, Designer and Co-Founder of PriestmanGoode, said that the companies want to make the journey as comfortable as possible for passengers. There’s a bar and a bathroom, plus large windows so passengers can see space and the Earth below. They’ll even be able to share the experience on social media while on board.
Spaceship Neptune will offer a unique experience
The journey will take six hours in total. It will take two hours for the balloon to float to the edge of space, where it will stay for two hours. It will then return to Earth and land in the ocean, where a boat will collect it.
Space Perspective says that it hopes the experience will be as easy as boarding a plane.
The first flights on the Neptune will leave from Space Perspective’s control centre in Florida, but there are plans to have more flights from Hawaii, Alaska and possibly other places outside of the US.
The companies hope that the balloon will be used for experiments by scientists. Also for events like weddings, concerts and business meetings.
The first test flight is planned for early 2021, but won’t include any passengers. Finally, the companies hope to eventually offer up to 100 flights per year.
Photos by PriestmanGoode