Final design revealed for 'space balloon' carrying customers to orbit

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A US company planning to send people to space in a giant balloon has unveiled their final design.

The newest entry to the space tourism industry is Space Perspective, which will let customers travel 20 miles up for just $120,000 (£99,000). At least the drinks are included.

The company has been around for a little while, but has just revealed the final design for its Spaceship Neptune balloon. The sleek-looking capsule will hold up to eight passengers for the six-hour journey.

There will be no weightlessness as the balloon doesn’t go that high. Which means you’ll be able to relax without worrying your martini is about to start floating out the of the glass.

Twenty miles above the Earth may be a bit less than the 50 miles and 62 miles offered by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin respectively, but it’s still enough for an amazing view of our planet.

The capsule has five-foot high windows and comfy padded seats, surrounded by purple hues lit with subdued lighting.

There’s Wi-Fi connectivity, too. So you can post pictures straight to social media without having to wait to come back to terra firma.

‘Our team worked through hundreds of iterations of the interior to optimize the design and performance of the pressurized Spaceship Neptune capsule,’ explains Space Perspective.

‘The goal was to create a welcoming interior featuring comfortable lounge chairs, mood lighting, and even plants and herbs such as lavender, basil, and rosemary that can be used in food and drink prep.

‘This creates a calming environment in which to relax, and is the opposite of the bright white utilitarian interiors you find on other spacecraft (and most people’s idea of how a spaceship interior looks).’

Providing you’ve stumped up the cash to take a ride, you won’t need to undergo any special ‘astronaut’ training to take part.

The balloon climbs at a stately 12mph, giving the passengers plenty of time to experience Earth’s majesty and, we’d wager, a fair bit of vertigo.

It’s also a more eco-friendly way to get nearer the stars as each flight isn’t burning tonnes of rocket fuel to get you up there.

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