A new company, Space Perspective , has announced their plan to introduce a commercial spacecraft that can take you into the stratosphere. Actually, the "ship" is a hot air balloon .
For just $ 125,000, anyone could buy a ticket to get on it. The name of the balloon is Spaceship Neptune , and it would start operating in early 2021 .
Spaceship Neptune is a huge hydrogen-filled balloon with a small pressurized cockpit hanging below. It will carry a pilot and up to eight passengers who will pay the mentioned price to go to the stratosphere at the same time; the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that extends between 10 and 50 km in altitude approximately .
The 200-meter-high balloon will lift off from the leased facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and rise gently into the stratosphere, which is not technically outer space, but is high enough to see the curvature of the Earth and the darkness of space beyond.
The entire trip will take about six hours, according to the company estimates. The balloon ship will rise at about 3 km per hour , navigate in the stratosphere for about two hours, and then slowly descend. It will float in the direction of the winds that day and land in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, where it will be rescued by a recovery boat.
The cabin will feature restrooms, a bar, seating, and huge windows to enjoy the view. The team is already planning to facilitate events on the spacecraft, including a possible out-of-this-world wedding .
The giant balloon floats thanks to hydrogen, not helium.
The truth is that $ 125,000 is a relatively cheap price compared to the price of 250,000 for a Virgin Galactic rocket trip, or the tens of millions of dollars that a handful of wealthy people have spent to visit the International Space Station.