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Dispatches Quick Takes

Space Perspective Inc.

Illustration of Spaceship Neptune at full altitude (Space Perspective Inc.)

Quick Takes

Living on the edge

It’s not a trip to space, but according to one Florida company it will be as close as you can get without leaving Earth’s gravity. The Kennedy Space Center–based startup Space Perspective announced it had teamed up with the Alaska Aerospace Corp. to offer balloon rides to the edge of space by 2021. For $125,000 per person, passengers will be able to board what the company calls Spaceship Neptune. The Neptune will be tethered to a hydrogen balloon the size of a football stadium. After ascending for two hours, the Neptune will reach its maximum altitude of 19 miles above Alaska, or roughly 100,000 feet. After a two-hour descent, the capsule will splash down off the Aleutian Islands and be recovered by a ship. Space Perspective hopes to complete a test flight early next year. Mark Lester, CEO of Alaska Aerospace, says Alaska will be an inviting locale for the effort: “You will have people from around the world who want to come to Alaska and see the northern lights from the edge of space.”


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