If you’re trying to avoid airborne viruses, heading to a near vacuum might not be the worst idea.
A Florida company is planning to fly passengers to the edge of space in a high-tech version of a hot air balloon, with a pilot and up to eight travelers riding in a pressurized capsule suspended from an enormous blimp.
Human space flight company Space Perspective has scheduled the test flight of its Spaceship Neptune for early 2021, from the auspicious surroundings of the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The refundable reservation deposits are tiered, with higher down payments needed for Year One flights and decreasing for later bookings.
The inaugural test flight took off on June 18 from the Space Coast Spaceport in Titusville, Florida. The six hour and 39-minute flight was uncrewed, but cameras on board captured a stunning image of the Earth at sunrise.
Space Perspective says the test flight is a crucial milestone on its way to taking space tourists on leisurely sightseeing jaunts, with a refreshment bar and social media capabilities to hand.
“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,” said Space Perspective founder and co-CEO Jane Poynter in a release.