Breathtaking. Comfortable. Revealing.
Less than 20 people have ever been to the edge of space under a space-balloon, far fewer than have been in orbit around our planet. For the first time, we can make the thrill of spaceflight accessible to you, our Explorers, in a safe, comfortable manner with minimal physical requirements and as simple as boarding an airplane. Our pressurized capsule affords a shirt-sleeves environment, and comes with a refreshments bar and lavatory, of course. And don’t forget to post to your favorite social media sites during your six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back.
Before sun rise, eight Explorers and a Pilot climb aboard the Neptune Capsule, recline in the plush seats and lift off into the predawn sky. Neptune ascends for two hours to over three times higher than a commercial airliner flies while the sky is still dark, and stars are visible like you’ve never before seen them. As Neptune glides along the edge of space, the sun slowly rises over the curved limb of Earth, scattering rainbow colors of light across the planet and illuminating the thin, bright blue line of our atmosphere. And the sky remains black, completely inky black. This view of Earth in the void of space has transfixed astronauts since the dawn of the space age. Reluctantly, the Explorers and Pilot prepare to leave space to return to Earth. Neptune gently descends under the balloon, and two hours later splashes down, where a ship retrieves the capsule, balloon and Explorers.
Hold your special event at the edge of space! Get married, perform a concert, have a company retreat. The gentle, hours’ long flight, and the roominess and flexibility of the capsule enable a host of special space events. Neptune can accommodate live streaming of events to the planet below, whether to loved ones, thrilled fans, students or business partners.
Discover Spaceship Neptune
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THE SPACE BALLOON
Our advanced space-balloon is designed to operate in the near vacuum found at the edge of space. It is the size of a football stadium and gently flies the capsule for ascent, float and landing. It is derived from proven technology. NASA has used similar balloons for decades for flying large research telescopes. As far back as the 1930s, the first person to see the curvature of earth did so from beneath a balloon. The lift gas inside the balloon is lighter than air and allows Neptune to float on top of the Earth’s atmosphere like an ice cube on water. Helium has many critical applications such as medical MRI scanners, and Helium is now in limited supply. So, we use hydrogen, the gas of choice for balloonists around the world that is also renewable. Fun fact: the planet Neptune’s atmosphere is made almost entirely of lift gas, hydrogen and helium.
The pressurized, roomy capsule allows passengers to experience the majesty of sailing along the edge of space in shirt sleeves while sipping a beverage of choice or performing a science experiment. It is designed to be flexible and spacious enough to hold events such as weddings, concerts, live interviews and meetings.
RESERVE DESCENT SYSTEM
A backup parachute can safely descend and land Neptune’s Capsule. The chute is partially pre-opened so it can quickly and seamlessly take over from the primary flight system, the balloon, in the extremely unlikely event that is needed.
SPACE VIEW DOME
Passengers can put head and shoulders in the dome for an unobstructed view outside the Spaceship Neptune.
Research Instrument Trunk
There is a specified area for instruments, plus the ability to place instruments in areas on the Capsule’s top or bottom.
The breathtaking view is paramount, so the huge windows are designed to give a 360-degree panorama of the earth below and heavens above. The gold tint is the same material as used on spacesuit helmets to provide shading and the windows keep the sun’s UV from entering the capsule.
SEATS & BAR
The nine comfortable seats for the eight passengers and pilot encircle the Capsule. Between the seats is a refreshments bar and lockers for personal belongings. The seats recline for landing.
The loo with the best view in the known universe. It is below the main deck in the center of the capsule in the splashdown cone.
SPLASH DOWN CONE
The cone allows the capsule to smoothly land on the water at the end of the flight.
COMMUNICATION & SENSOR ANTENNA
An array of sensors and communications instruments allow the crew and passengers to know altitude, wind, temperature, and other important information. Passengers can also communicate during flight including posting to social media. Specialty communications packages will enable live streaming of events.
Research & Education
Science and education are core to our mission. We invite scientists, educators and students to perform ground-breaking research on board. Our citizen Explorers will even be able to participate in certain projects. Areas of particular interest to scientists include atmospheric science that could shed light on the greater workings of our planet’s climate and air systems; astro- and solar-physics that illuminate our understanding of our universe; and, astrobiology to explore the limits of life on our planet and beyond. Neptune has areas dedicated to instruments that can be repeatedly flown many times, which is rare for space scientists who typically only have a single or very few times to perform an experiment.
Left Photo Credit: North Medford Highschool High Altitude Balloon Eclipse Team, 2017
RESERVE YOUR FLIGHT NOW
Be among the first to fly along the edge of space. Sign up here and we will save your seats on Spaceship Neptune in the order received.