What’s it like taking a pee 100,000 feet above the earth while looking down at the beauty of our home planet? Those of you with deep pockets might be able to find out in a few years courtesy of Space Perspective, a company that is developing a no-rockets-required ride called Spaceship Neptune that, as its “SpaceBalloon” nickname might indicate, allows wannabe astronauts to fulfill their dream of visiting space via a high-tech balloon.
Space Perspective designed its SpaceBalloon with complete luxury in mind, having released concept art alluding to panoramic windows, a bar, reclining seats, Wi-Fi, customizable mood lighting, a telescope, interactive screens, and more. The most exciting part is probably the inclusion of a “space bathroom,” one that will allow tourists to look out into the eeriness of space as they relieve themselves.
Space Perspective’s SpaceBalloon isn’t expected to go up until late 2024 at the earliest, but the tickets for its first year of seats, which cost $125,000 per passenger for a six-hour ride, are already sold out.
“What makes Spaceship Neptune a spaceship unlike any other?,” Space Perspective asks prospective guests on its official SpaceBalloon page. “A state-of-the-art, customizable Space Lounge interior. Our team worked through hundreds of iterations of the interior to optimize the design and performance of the pressurized Spaceship Neptune capsule.”
“The goal was to create a welcoming interior featuring comfortable lounge chairs, mood lighting, and even plants and herbs such as lavender, basil, and rosemary that can be used in food and drink prep. This creates a calming environment in which to relax, and is the opposite of the bright white utilitarian interiors you find on other spacecraft (and most people’s idea of how a spaceship interior looks).”
Space Balloon Company’s Luxurious ‘Space Lounge’ Has Bar, Mood Lighting (CNET)
Space tourists on board Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic flights mostly remain strapped in their seats during the adventure. If tourism company Space Perspective successfully launches its edge-of-space balloon flights, passengers will enjoy champagne toasts, house plants and a bathroom with a view.
On Tuesday, Space Perspective 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.
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.