KEY POINTS

  • Spaceship Neptune passengers will see the Earth 20 miles above the surface
  • It is said to be the "world's first luxury spaceflight experience"
  • Each ticket for the six-hour trip costs $125,000

Those who dream of seeing the Earth as astronauts do now have a chance to make it happen without going through intense astronaut training. A Florida-based company is offering a luxury balloon trip to the edge of space—but for a pretty hefty price tag.

Space Perspective, a human space flight company, began selling tickets for a rather special trip Wednesday. This luxury travel experience lets up to eight passengers take a high-tech version of a hot air balloon to get "dazzling views" of Earth from 20 miles above its surface.

Called Spaceship Neptune, the capsule will be carried by a "state-of-the-art" space balloon the size of a football stadium. For $125,000 per person, its passengers can enjoy 360-views from panoramic windows, reclining seats, a bar and other amenities during the six-hour ride through the Earth's atmosphere.

"There isn't really a definition of space," Jane Poynter, one of the company's co-founders, told Bloomberg via Zoom. "From this environment, you're afforded that quintessential experience of seeing the earth just as astronauts do." 

The company took to Twitter to share an illustration of how "the world's first luxury spaceflight" will look.

In a separate tweet, it shared the "spectacular view" its first passengers will see.

"Spaceship Neptune gently lifts passengers 100,000 ft/30,000 m to space to then be immersed, for two hours, in entirely new and breath-taking views of the curvature of Earth down below, in all its beauty and its poignancy," Space Perspective noted in a news release.

"Space Perspective ensures safety by applying flight technology used for decades by NASA and other government entities around the globe, supported by a world class, hand-picked crew, who have been integral to all human spaceballoon flights for the last 50 years," the company added.

And since it will use a balloon, not a rocket, the trip will have "minimal demands" for guests. They will simply arrive at the site days before the trip and spend some time around the launchpad and capsule to make sure they're comfortable, according to Bloomberg.

The first trip is so far scheduled for late 2024. Those who would like to go on the trip must pay a $1,000 deposit.

The company recently completed an inaugural test flight from the Space Coast Spaceport in Titusville, Florida, reported CNN. The uncrewed flight took six hours and 39 minutes to complete. Space Perspective called the successful test flight the "first steps" toward an "unrivaled experience."

There have already been other civilians who have flown as guests or paying passengers, CBS News said in a report. However, those were government-sponsored missions that were piloted by professional astronauts. Therefore, they are different from what Space Perspective is currently offering.

Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos also announced that he would be making a trip to space aboard the New Shepard rocket on July 20. This led to thousands of people petitioning to ban Bezos from re-entering the Earth after his voyage.

The Earth, photographed by astronaut Nick Hague from the International Space Station on October 2, 2019 The Earth, photographed by astronaut Nick Hague from the International Space Station on October 2, 2019 Photo: NASA / Nick HAGUE