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Have $125,000 lying around? Ever wanted to feel how minute we are in the grand scheme of the universe unfolding but at the edge of space? Well apparently, soon, the new start-up SpacePerspective will able to fulfill your desire.
Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, who previously founded a near-space exploration/technology, unraveled another project under the name Space Perspective.
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The company will offer 8 "explorers" a 6-hour-long journey to an altitude of roughly 30 kilometers in their ballon-craft "Spaceship Neptune". At its highest altitude, explorers will be able to observe the curvature of the earth and the pitch-black darkness of the space. The balloon responsible for taking the explorers up will be filled with hydrogen. 99% of the atmospheric pressure won't be present up above, which is near almost a vacuum, thus the high-tech cabin will be pressurized to accommodate.
Provided that a launch is made right before the sunrise, participants will be able to experience both an unmatched view of the space with stars visible to the naked eye just like what a telescope sees and a soothing sunrise. As they put it on their website: "As Neptune glides along the edge of space, the sun slowly rises over the curved limb of Earth, scattering rainbow colors of light across the planet and illuminating the thin, bright blue line of our atmosphere".
When will the operation begin?
The managers told that they would determine the pricing somewhere around 2020 and start putting out tickets in 2021. The first uncrewed test flights are expected to take place in 2021 too. The company plans to make its first crewed tests around 2023 and first commercial trips in 2024.
Another space tourism company Virgin Orbit is also planning to offer commercial near-space tours with a modified Boeing 747 at roughly double the price.