Ticketed space travel is getting closer with Space Perspective’s $125,000 luxury balloon ride into the stratosphere. With Earth feeling the effects of both a pandemic and climate emergency, the option of leaving the planet is providing some optimism, but only for those who can afford it.
Space Perspective is a high-tech balloon that takes passengers on a voyage into the stratosphere. The brainchild of husband and wife team Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, who met whilst working as technical advisors to Elon Musk on his human space flight project, costs $125,000 and takes around six hours to transport up to eight guests 20 miles above Earth. Without the need for a spacesuit, passengers can recline on plush seats while “experiencing the wonder-filled expansion of human consciousness,” says the brand. According to Poynter, “we’re committed to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space – both to perform the much-needed research to benefit life on Earth and to affect how we view and connect with our planet.”
This new player in the space tourism race comes at a time when people are longing for new experiences, or if you’re a billionaire, then simply to leave the planet. Pioneers such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' techno-futurism is providing some much-needed optimism in the shadow of a global health pandemic and climate emergency. Space Perspective might be marketing the luxury balloon as a once-in-a-lifetime experience with highly Instagrammable views but the price tag, although cheaper than other space travel, is still out of reach for most adventurers. The dream of space travel is getting closer, but only for a small proportion of wealthy Earthlings.