Spaceship Neptune should enter the space tourism market by 202412th May 2022
By 2024, a new player from Space Perspective, spaceship Neptune, should enter the emerging space tourism market. Unlike rockets from Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX, the Neptune spaceship will be a balloon with spacious cabins for eight passengers. But what makes the space balloon trip so different from space tourism offers already available?
Spaceship Neptune: how is a space balloon trip different?
A space balloon is expected to reach an altitude of 30 km, which is way lower than most other space tourism companies offer right now. For example, Virgin Galactic goes 80+ km above the earth, Blue Origin reaches a mark of almost a hundred km, and SpaceX takes space tourists even further than that. So, whether spaceship Neptune will offer actual space tourism flights is a matter of some debate.
However, the passengers will be in the upper layers of our planet’s atmosphere, which is higher than any other plane goes. And while passengers will not have a chance to experience zero gravity conditions, they will see the blackness of space and the stunning images of our planet from above. Right now, the Neptune spaceship has already sold over 600 tickets at $125,000 each.
Current offers on the space tourism market?
The space tourism niche is booming, and even though Neptune Spaceship will not be able to take its passengers as high as other companies in the same niche, the cost of a flight on a space balloon is far more affordable. For example, Virgin Galactic charges $450,000 per flight, and SpaceX passengers reported paying $55 million each for the courtesy of going to the ISS on Crew Dragon. Blue Origin does not make its prices public, but similar to SpaceX, the prices are estimated at millions of dollars.
So, even if spaceship Neptune may not offer space tourism flights above the Karman line (internationally recognized border where space begins), the cost of the entertainment is definitely more affordable.