Travel | June 25, 2021 1:36 pm

You Can Now Book a Hot Air Balloon to the Edge of Space

The trip includes a two-hour ascent to a cool 100,000 feet — higher than roughly 99% of the Earth's atmosphere

An artist's rendering of the Spaceship Neptune
An artist's rendering of the Spaceship Neptune
Space Perspective

If there’s one thing the pandemic has left the masses thirsting after, it’s travel. But not just plain old travel. They want once-in-a-lifetime, high-risk-high-reward, big-ticket, bucket-list travel. The South of France? Out. The Mariana Trench? In. Space travel? Don’t even get us started.

And now another company, this one a Florida-based “human space flight company,” is throwing their hat into the ring with a “hot air balloon” trip that will take passengers to the outermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to a new report from CNN, Space Perspective is now taking reservations for its latest venture: the Spaceship Neptune. At first glance, the Spaceship Neptune is effectively both the spaceship that its name would imply and a hot air balloon. But to call it merely a hot air balloon would be to minimize things. In actuality, the Spaceship Neptune is a “pressurized capsule suspended from an enormous blimp.” That capsule is roughly five meters in diameter and the balloon is the size of a football field when fully inflated, capable of hosting up to eight passengers and a pilot at any given time — all for $125,000 a pop.

The hefty price of admission includes a six-hour trip, two of which are spent ascending 100,000 feet — above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere — followed by two hours enjoying the 360-degree view from the top, then a two-hour descent back down to the ocean, where there’s a refreshment bar and, most importantly, social media access. Because, honestly, if you didn’t Instagram your trip to space, did you really even go to space?

And while space tourism still feels a bit far off, just last week Space Perspective completed its first ever un-crewed test flight, a big step forward for the company who hopes to be able to host passengers by 2024.

“We’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space — both to perform much-needed research to benefit life on Earth and to affect how we view and connect with our planet,” Jane Poynter, Space Perspective founder and co-CEO, said last year.

So, in short, if you had space by hot air balloon on your 2024 bingo card — you’re in luck! Head over to spaceperspective.com/bookyourflight to secure your $125,000 spot today.