At a price of about ₹93 lakh, an American company Space Perspective is offering tickets for a six-hour luxury ride in a high-tech hot air balloon to a height of 100,000 feet, in the stratosphere. The company is now reserving seats for the early 2024 flight of its Spaceship Neptune, a capsule that will fly suspended to a giant balloon. The company is branding the luxury ride as a Spaceflight and calling the passengers Space Explorers. However, the capsule, which will have eight passengers and one pilot, will fly 70 kilometres below the Kármán line, the edge of space defined by humans. Still, the capsule will fly at more than double the usual height of a flying commercial aeroplane. The capsule will launch from a Florida coast in the United States and splashdown ashore the Atlantic ocean at some distance from its launch site.
According to the company’s website, the airship will stay at 100,000 feet (30.5 kilometres) for two hours. The features of the ride include 360-degree non-glare panoramic windows. The ship will also have a lavatory below its main deck. To enable passengers to live stream their travel, a wifi connection will be there. Moreover, the ship will feature a refreshments bar and the passengers will be provided cabinets for their belongings.
The high altitude balloon is the size of a football stadium. Since it is a balloon-driven flight, it will offer the passengers a calm and comfortable take-off and landing. The ship is cone-shaped at its bottom to ensure a safe landing in water.
“We’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to perform much-needed research to benefit life on Earth and to affect how we view and connect with our planet,” the company said in a statement released last year.