There’s a certain irony about the amount of billionaires trying to escape the planet, with Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos being the most notable of the mega-rich attempting to blast off into outer space.
But ordinary members of the public can now voyage to the stratosphere – that’s if you’ve got $125,000 (£90k) to spare. Space Perspective is a new company offering ‘luxury’ balloon rides into space. Promising a “comfortable” and “leisurely” ascent, the flight takes six hours in total, taking guests 20 miles above the Earth for a “life-changing” experience.
Up to eight guests can fit in the balloon – which is the size of a football stadium – where they can recline on plush seats while “experiencing the wonder-filled expansion of human consciousness”, Space Perspective’s website explains. ”To gaze upon Earth from space – to take in the astounding views and vivid colors – is an unforgettable spectacle that astronauts call life-altering.”
Since passengers won’t experience weightlessness during the flight, they can enjoy drinks from the ship’s fully-stocked bar and use the bathroom as normal, and can wear whatever they like – even a wedding dress. Space Perspective suggests it could be a great place to get married, celebrate a birthday, or host a company get-together.
Space Perspective is the project of Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, the husband-and-wife duo who have served as technical advisors to Musk on human space flight. They met while taking part in Biosphere 2 – the early 90s experiment that explored the viability of human life in outer space. For two years in the Arizona desert, they lived with six others in a glorified greenhouse set up for completely self-sustained living, in a bid to find out what it would be like to set up a commune on Mars.
Space Perspective is set to launch its first flights from the Kennedy Space Centre in 2024, and you can book a flight here.