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Have you always wanted to travel to the edge of space but do not trust explosive rocket technology? This news is for you (and Wernher Von Braun doesn't like it).
A new startup called Space Perspective wants to take your money (many) and ship you between the stars in a big balloon.
Designed to be an alternative to the nascent rocket-based space tourism industry, the company's “Spaceship Neptune” capsules will be occupied by paying customers and brought aloft to a height of about 30,000 meters.
The Neptune Spaceship in the ascending phase
According to Space Perspective space travel (well, technically bordering on space), will be relatively short. They will spend two hours rising to the expected altitude and another two hours for re-entry to Earth. Between the rise and descent travellers will enjoy truly breathtaking views of their home planet.
When the journey is over, the capsule will stop in the Atlantic Ocean and passengers will be picked up by a ship and brought back ashore. It all sounds a bit weird but hey... there really aren't any rules when it comes to space tourism, right? At least not yet.
Travel costs. In space more
Only $125,000 per person, come on. I want to ruin myself. Alright, I admit, it's not cheap, but it's going to be a one-of-a-kind experience and without being “shot” by anything.
Waiting to take flight
Space Perspective is hardly the only company vying for a slice of the space tourism pie. Blue Origin and SpaceX, among others, have already announced plans to send paying customers into space for short trips that will cost a lot of money. In some cases, tickets have already been sold for flights that may not take place for several years, if they ever do.
It's probably obvious, but space tourism will please the super rich, at least for now.
Sending items into space is expensive and getting a sizeable return on initial rocket investment (or space balloons) means charging very high prices.