VENTURING TO THE EDGE OF SPACE
Leading design company PriestmanGoode, has revealed a vision for a new kind of space tourism with a high-performance balloon and pressurized capsule that will fly passengers to the edge of space....
Titled "Spaceship Neptune" the balloon and pressurized capsule has been
designed with U.S.-based Space Perspective and will offer passengers a view of our wondrous planet from 100,000ft in the air
Nigel Goode, designer and co-founder of PriestmanGoode, says: “We’ve worked in close partnership with the team behind Space Perspective for many years now. Neptune is a great project to work on, it’s the culmination of a long-term collaboration that has resulted in the only spaceship that is designed with the human experience at its core and will pave the way for the future of commercial space travel.”
The capsule has been designed from the inside out. Goode continues, “Our starting point was the passenger experience. We looked at all the different elements that would
make the experience not just memorable, but truly comfortable as well and included essentials for a journey of six hours, like a lavatory. We wanted to make sure that passengers would be able to get 360-degree unobstructed views and that we created an efficient space that would enable them to move around during the journey. Meanwhile, we needed to minimise weight and create a highly functional environment for the pilot.
All these elements guided the shape of the final capsule.”
Flown by a pilot, Neptune will take up to eight passengers called “Explorers” on a six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back, where only 20 people have
been before. It will carry people and research payloads on a two-hour gentle ascent above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet, where it cruises above the
Earth for up to two hours allowing passengers to share their experience via social media and with their fellow Explorers. Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers, the capsule, and the balloon. “The design of the capsule is a critical component of providing our Explorers the inspirational experience that Astronauts describe of seeing our Earth in space. We are thrilled to be working with Nigel and his talented team at PriestmanGoode,” said Jane Poynter, Founder and Co-CEO of Space Perspective.
The first un-crewed test flight will include a suite of research payloads and is scheduled for early 2021 from the iconic Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
(KSC) in Florida, USA.