Spaceship Neptune tourist space balloon interior
Space Perspective

This is what it looks like inside a giant space balloon for tourists

Would you pay $125,000 for this view?

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Balloons have been pitched as better space tourism options thanks to gentler, longer-lasting trips that don't require training, and now it's clearer what you'll get if you take one of those rides. Space Perspective has previewed the interior of Spaceship Neptune, a giant balloon that will take tourists to 100,000 feet (technically the stratosphere, not space) for two hours plus a similarly lengthy descent. As you've likely noticed, this is really a floating lounge rather than a spacecraft.

Gallery: Spaceship Neptune balloon interior | 8 Photos

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  • Spaceship Neptune balloon interior
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The design focuses on comfortable, reclining seats that can be configured for group events or couples' dinners. You can get food and bar service, connect to WiFi (for those high-altitude social check-ins), read info on interactive screens, customize mood lighting and observe the Earth from a telescope. And yes, there's a "luxurious" windowed restroom if you can't wait for the return to solid ground — you'll get Space Perspective's promised 360-degree view even when you're indisposed.

The company claims this is the only zero-emissions option for reaching space, and is promising eco-friendly construction that includes a bar top made from recycled balloon material. Other sustainable materials will be used throughout the capsule.

The catch, as with other early space tourism projects, is the price. Space Perspective is asking $125,000 per ticket with a $1,000 refundable deposit. The first paid flights aren't expected take place until late 2024, either, and a reservation now won't get you a seat until 2025. That's still much more affordable than Virgin Galactic's $450,000 flights, though, and you'll spend considerably more time above the planet. You'll just be trading altitude for greater comfort.

The offering does have some early takers. The company says it has sold 600 tickets to date. As such, this offering might be considered an intermediate step for space tourism. It's certainly not ready for the mainstream at these prices, but it is giving more people a chance to see Earth from great heights.

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