This luxury space balloon now has a sleek new interior

A space balloon that promises to carry eight guests through a swanky swinger lounge to the far reaches of space today unveiled its newly designed capsule. Space Perspective said the new Neptune spacecraft capsule design will be safer and maximize the passenger experience by providing a more spacious interior with more headroom.

“We released the new interior design a few months ago and that’s what drove the redesign of the capsule shape,” said founder and co-CEO Taber MacCallum. Robb Report. “We realized that a higher ceiling gave a much less claustrophobic feel while still allowing us to pack all the necessary gear.”

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MacCallum said the design’s new exterior, which changed from a chunky top and bottom to a more spherical shape, required around 130 mockups. The company worked with Siemens engineering to create the shape as well as a new patent-pending “splash cone” for waterborne re-entry when it returns to land.

The living room-like interior of the Neptune spacecraft required a different exterior shape.  - Credit: Courtesy of Space Perspectives

The living room-like interior of the Neptune spacecraft required a different exterior shape. – Credit: Courtesy of Space Perspectives

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The capsule prototype is currently being produced at a composite facility near Cape Kennedy Space Center, where Space Perspective is based. A new facility to produce the massive space balloons is also underway.

The company, which offers seats at $125,000 per person, plans its first flight in 2024. The space balloon will climb at 12 mph and make a two-hour descent that will end with a dip in the ocean and a recovery of the boat off the coast of Florida. The interior features a bar, reclining seats, oversized 360 degree windows, Wi-Fi and tasteful decor including fresh herbs for food and cocktails. It also has toilets. Space Perspective even hired hotel entrepreneur David Grutman as the curator of the experience.

The new design has a

The new design has a “splash cone” that acts as a stabilizer when the capsule lands in the ocean. – Credit: Courtesy of Space Perspectives

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Despite all the intricacies, the company worked hard on the capsule’s structural engineering. “Physics is what drove the form,” MacCallum said. “A sphere has the strongest natural form. The complexity of the exercise was huge, but now we have a lot more detail in the engineering.

The splash cone, which serves as a type of stabilizing sea anchor for the capsule once it has landed, also involved many iterations with Siemens. “The goal was a soft landing rather than a flop,” MacCallum said.

Taber MacCallum and Peter Tinkham of Space Perspective inspect the first composite skin of the new capsule as it moves into the prototype phase.  - Credit: Courtesy of Space Perspective

Taber MacCallum and Peter Tinkham of Space Perspective inspect the first composite skin of the new capsule as it moves into the prototype phase. – Credit: Courtesy of Space Perspective

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Testing will begin early next year once the prototype is complete. Unmanned tests will take place before the first crewed version. “We plan to test between 10 and 20 versions before the final version is ready,” says MacCallum.

The Neptune spacecraft may not fly as high or as fast as its competitors’ rockets, but what can beat the sight of Earth for six hours with a Cosmopolitan in the hand of a Lay- Futuristic Z-Boy?

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