Finally, You Can Ride A Balloon Into Space For Just $180,000

Finally, You Can Ride A Balloon Into Space For Just $180,000

You up for a far more boring way of checking out the curves of Earth?

Well, now you can take a tour of the upper reaches of our atmosphere, thanks to the new startup Space Perspective.

Founders Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum believe their "balloons" can hold up to eight passengers for a six-hour round trip.

But the kicker?

No, it's not that there's no bathroom...

It's the price tag, sitting just as lofty as their balloons at $125,000 - per person.

The plan is to use the balloons - actually called "Spaceship Neptune" capsules - to host tourists and research payloads at a height of about 100,000 feet, or about 30.5km straight up.

While it's technically not space, the views from the floaty boob would be incredible, including the vast curvature of Earth.

The experience features a two-hour ascent, followed by a two-hour observation flight and return descent before splash landing in the Atlantic Ocean. Thankfully, a ship will be waiting to retrieve the passengers and capsule.

If you're a bit unsure about floating into the nether reaches of our planet in a pressurised bubble; don't be. 

The FAA will regulate all of Space Perspective's human flights and will work with the United States regulatory agency in advance of its planned crewed missions.

Which are still a few years away at the very least.

For a bit more of an added guarantee, Space Perspective will launch from the renowned Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, as well as Florida's Cecil Spaceport. Eventually, private launch sites in Hawaii and Alaska (the weird states) will also be available before international avenues are pursued. 

The startup plans to launch its first test balloon as soon as early next year, though it will be empty. Instead, it'll hold experimental payloads, the secondary reason for the company's capsules after human space tourists. 

While not necessarily space, it is a highly desirable alternative to rival offerings such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, but a far short of the grand goals of SpaceX and its Crew Dragon commercial flights.

Would you take a balloon into space?
Would you spend $180,000 on it?

Let us know in comments and share the love of Aussie space as we spread ARSE into the deep unknown...

Psst! Clint the Intern here, just letting you guys know there's FREE SHIPPING on hoodies while they last. There's no better way to spread ARSE than to wear it, y'know?
Have a look here and I'll see ya on the socials! - Clintern 
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