Now, here’s a trip that’s truly out of the world! By
Space Perspective, which calls itself “the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience company,” announced that it has opened bookings for flights into space departing in late 2024. The cost is INR 92,75,625 ($125,000) per passenger.
The six-hour experience will take place aboard a massive space balloon called Spaceship Neptune, which is about the size of a football stadium and has a bar and bathroom. While kicking back in plush reclining seats, passengers will sail 20 miles (about 100,000 feet) above Earth, taking in a 360-degree view of the planet in the pressurised cabin.
Individual seats can now be secured with INR 74,223 ($1,000) refundable deposit, or an entire capsule with eight seats can be reserved for INR 5,93,784 ($8,000) refundable deposit. Special bookings are also available, including the first 25 flights that are called Legacy Explorers.
Calling it a “radically gentle voyage,” the trip will depart from Space Coast Air and Spaceport, which is across from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It will launch on a two-hour ascent that goes 99 per cent above the atmosphere and then glides for two hours above Earth. For those who want to share their flight into space in real time, the capsule even has Wi-Fi to ensure a secure livestream connection. The vessel will then return to Earth in another two-hour trip with a water landing, before a ship picks up the passengers and capsule. The company notes that the experience is regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.
The announcement comes after a successful test flight last week. Space Perspective’s Neptune One completed a six-hour and 39-minute test journey without any humans on board, launching at 5:23 am on June 18 and sailing 108,409 feet in the air before landing about 50 miles off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It is an incredible privilege launching from the space coast, where the history of human spaceflight was forged over the past decades and continues to build momentum today,” Co-CEO and Founder Jane Poynter said in a statement. “Flying on Spaceship Neptune will be an extraordinary experience for our space explorers.”
The reality of space tourism has been fast-moving in recent years, with big-name investors like Jeff Bezos betting on its future with Blue Origin (sign up here to learn when bookings are available); Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic (private astronauts and researchers can inquire about flights here), and Elon Musk with SpaceX (inquire here about flights to both Earth and lunar orbit).
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on COVID-19 for all the latest travel guidelines.