First look: Stratosphere passenger balloon capsule offers passengers 360-degree views

While technically it won't reach space, the Space Neptune capsule will take passengers into Earth's stratosphere – and it has a bathroom.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Travelers looking for a luxury balloon experience got their first look at the Spaceship Neptune this week after the company Space Perspective released a video of its first completed test capsule that will take passengers to the stratosphere.

While it won't reach space, the Spaceship Neptune capsule will take passengers about a third of the way there – and it has a bathroom. The capsule will reach an altitude of about 100,000 feet, falling 230,000 feet short of the internationally recognized boundary of space known as the Karman Line. 


Space Perspective released new photos and video of the first completed test capsule called Excelsior, with its 360-degree panoramic windows to look down on Earth and up into the night sky. The company said the capsule provides a pressurized volume of 2,000 cubic feet and will allow up to eight passengers and a pilot to enjoy these views while comfortably sipping a beverage, and it has Wi-Fi. 

While Space Perspective is aiming to compete with space tourism flights from Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, the experience will be very different and won't provide any time in zero gravity.

At the beginning of a six-hour flight, the capsule will take off from a vessel known as Marine Spaceport Voyager lifted by the company's 700-foot-tall hydrogen-fueled SpaceBalloon. Moving at 12 mph, even at the peak of 100,000 feet, passengers will not experience weightlessness.

The founders of Space Perspective, based in Titusville, Florida, shared photos and video on Tuesday of the first completed test capsule at its hangar in Florida. 

This year, the company plans to complete uncrewed test flights and human test flights later this year. 

Interested passengers can reserve a seat in the 16-foot diameter capsule by putting down a $1,000 deposit. A seat costs $125,000 USD.