Space Perspective, the company that plans to offer balloon rides to space from Kennedy Space Center, is now accepting reservations from the public to fly in 2024, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.
At $125,000 a ticket, that price could be considered a deal compared to other suborbital options like Virgin Galactic’s 90-minute space flight for $250,000.
Of course, there are some big differences between the experiences. Instead of blasting off with the help of a rocket engine, Space Perspective is offering travelers a relaxed ascent to space on a six-hour trip promising amazing views of Earth in a luxury environment that includes plush reclining seats, a stocked bar and a bathroom.
Riding to space in a giant balloon doesn’t require training or a spacesuit either. In fact, you could wear a wedding dress.
“We’ve got families that want to go together. We’ve got couples that want to propose or have their wedding. It’s accessible to life events,” co-CEO and founder Taber MaCallum said.
MacCallum’s wife and co-CEO, Jane Poynter said the company has already been selling tickets privately to gauge interest.
“The response has been insane, insanely good,” Poynter told FLORIDA TODAY.
The company won’t share how many tickets they’ve sold in total but their first several flights are already sold out.
“We had one event where we did a Q &A with a few people and within an hour of that event sold 25 tickets,” she explained.
The people who have bought tickets already run the gamut including whole families or people who don’t meet the physical requirements or can’t handle the massive g-forces of a rocket launch.
And some are mega space fan hedging their bets.
“We’re also getting people who have bought tickets already on other suborbital vehicles but they want it all. They want the rocket ride experience but they also really want that quintessential astronaut experience of seeing Earth in space in this very relaxed, open way that you can do on Spaceship Neptune,” MacCallum said.
Flown by a pilot, Spaceship Neptune will carry eight passengers to the edge of space and back in a pressurized capsule for up to two hours before the two hour descent. Passengers will not experience weightlessness.
On June 18, the company passed a major milestone when the team completed a successful test flight of its Neptune One uncrewed test spacecraft.
Neptune One launched around 5 a.m. from the Space Coast Air and Spaceport in Titusville, formerly known as the Space Coast Regional Airport, and reached its planned altitude of 108,409 feet before executing a splashdown 50 miles off the west coast of Florida. With this flight, Space Perspective became the first space launch operator to fly from the Space Coast Spaceport, located adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“It was a fascinating flight path that took it east over KSC then back over the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station before heading across Central Florida towards the Gulf of Mexico. This unique feature will add yet another energizing ‘perspective’ to this new capacity of space tourism. Space Florida is excited to have yet another partner in the grand journey here at the Cape. Congratulations to Jane, Taber and the whole Space Perspective team,” Dale Ketcham, Space Florida’s VP of government and public relations, said.
With the test flight done, the company will move into a major design and testing cycle and get ready to build the spacecraft that will fly people called Spaceship Neptune.
“This test flight of Neptune One kicks off our extensive test flight campaign, which will be extremely robust because we can perform tests without a pilot, making Spaceship Neptune an extremely safe way to go to space,” added MacCallum.
Space Perspective is finalizing its launch locations and plan to launch from numerous sites around the world in the future including KSC and two other Florida spaceports.
Contact Rachael Joy at 321-242-3577. Follow her on Twitter @Rachael_Joy.