Adventure travellers can get a glimpse of what a trip to the edge of the Earth will look like when flying with luxury spaceflight operator Space Perspective.
The company has released images of the world’s first space lounges, complete with reclining chairs, in-flight dining and 360-degree views that will allow tourists to take in the planet from new heights.
Each of the Spaceship Neptune capsules can accommodate up to eight guests and one pilot on the cruise-like journey. The lounge-style pods have deep, reclining chairs set up to take in the views from 1.5-metre-high panoramic windows — the biggest ever flown to the edge of the Earth.
Arced seating can be configured for group events or romantic dinner flights for couples and the set-up means that passengers have plenty of space to stretch their legs and stand comfortably during the six-hour journey. The seats can even be set up to accommodate a wedding ceremony.
Sleek purple tones and subdued mood lighting create a soothing atmosphere, assisted by lavender, basil and rosemary plants dotted around the cabin. Passengers can also customise the soundtracks that will play in each capsule, allowing space tourists to cruise along to the sounds of their favourite artists.
Sensors in the capsule will track key elements of the journey and display them on ticker screens, and passengers can also use individual interactive screens to find out more details about their stratospheric jaunt.
Interior surfaces in the swish cabins are dark and tactile to reduce reflection and glare in the windows, helping space explorers take perfect photographs of their trip. There’s also free Wi-Fi so that guests can live-stream their experience on social media.
A fully-stocked bar made from recycled materials is located in each pod, ideal for toasts at the edge of the Earth. There’s also in-flight dining, and the menu can be customised by travellers before their trips.
For anyone who might not be able to wait to get back to Earth for a toilet break, a sleek bathroom is fitted in each capsule and comes with a huge window so that you don’t miss the otherworldly views at any time during your flight.
After taking off from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the space balloon will soar from the launch pad to about 45,000 feet (13,716 metres), higher than most commercial aircraft. From there, the mammoth airship will travel upwards to 75,000 feet (23,000 metres), a slice of the atmosphere usually reserved for spy planes.
It will reach its ascent at 100,000 feet (30,500 metres) above Earth, where the football-sized balloon will hover for about two hours, giving passengers plenty of time to drink in the 360-degree views of the planet.
The first flights are planned for 2024, and tickets for a seat on one of the balloons cost upwards of $125,000. Reservations can be secured now with a $1,000 deposit, although flights are already fully booked until 2025.