The American company Space Perspective announced the start of work on the capsule “Neptune” - a spacecraft in the form of a ball that can take people up to a height of 30 km. This is more than twice as high as the flying altitude of modern commercial jets.
Eight passengers and a pilot can be in the capsule together. It can reach its declared height in two hours. At this level, there is no feeling of weightlessness, but you can still see the outline of the planet as a ball, and also, as the creators write, “feel closer to the stars”.
The capsule design was developed by PriestmanGoode. According to company cofounder Nigel Goode, “Neptune” is the only means of transportation into space whose development has primarily taken into account user convenience. The capsule will be able to host weddings, concerts and parties.
Neptune’s first technical flight is planned to take place in early 2021, with a group of researchers on board.
The company was founded by Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter - two participants in the Biosphere-2 programme, a high-profile scientific experiment conducted in the early 1990s in America. The creators of the experiment hoped to create an ecosystem within an enclosed space that mirrors the biosphere of the Earth. Why they didn’t succeed – you can read about it in our detailed material (in Russian).