One of my favorite things to do (although it baffles me on a regular basis) is to witness concepts and technologies emerge that humans only dreamed about 40 or 50 years ago. Sometime last year, a company called Space Perspective announced their plans for a state-of-the-art luxury "space balloon" that would take people on a calm ascent into space.
Last year, the Florida-based company began taking reservations for the coveted trips, which last 6 hours and come with a price tag of $125,000 per person. The inaugural voyage is set to liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in 2024. Earlier this week, they released some images of what the cabins will look like.
The flights will be aboard the Spaceship Neptune, a balloon-borne pressurized capsule that offers a 360-degree panoramic view and is outfitted with non-glare windows. Reclining seats, onboard bathrooms, a fully-stocked bar, and Wi-Fi for space tweets are all included in the hefty price tag.
The balloon grows to the size of a football stadium when full inflated and can ascend as high as 20 miles above the ground. It also has a safety parachute for safely returning to Earth in case something goes wrong. The craft holds 8 people and is a 6-hour trip designed to be low-impact and requires no spacesuits or special training.
View the full slideshow on Gizmodo.
This is pretty cool - although at that price point, it remains quite a distant dream for me! If cost weren't an issue, would you want to float above the stratosphere and take in the sights? Share with me!