KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Space travel is about to get safer, more comfortable, and even more thrilling. Space Perspective, Planet Earth's leading luxury space travel company, unveils the patent-pending Spaceship Neptune capsule design now in production at the company’s state-of-the-art campus, near its Operations Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
As the only carbon neutral way to space, Space Perspective continues its pursuit of proprietary space travel innovation. Thousands of virtual flight tests, simulations, and analysis runs with cutting-edge technology from Siemens Digital Industries and AWS resulted in the pioneering capsule and splash cone designs. An elegant spherical exterior maximizes the 360-degree panoramic views via the largest-ever, patented windows to be taken to the edge of space and a roomier Space Lounge interior, offering plenty of headroom as Explorers move around the capsule. The proprietary splash cone ensures Spaceship Neptune’s ocean landing is gentle and safe.
Space Perspective is revolutionizing space travel - and is a world away from rocket-fueled space endeavors. Explorers onboard Spaceship Neptune, taking flight commercially from the end of 2024, will safely ascend to the edge of space in the climate-controlled, pressurized capsule, propelled by a patented SpaceBalloon™, absorbing the phenomenal beauty of Earth from space. The six-hour round trip enables anybody who can board an airplane to soak in the beautiful views of the thin blue line circling earth below and the dark vastness of space above.
Space Perspective’s state-of-the-art composite capsule manufacturing facility, in conjunction with an in-depth series of parallel processed analyses and design iterations, led to Spaceship Neptune features such as:
- An elegantly smooth, spherical pressure vessel designed for the ultimate Space Lounge experience and comfort. The iconic spherical shape of the exterior accommodates a roomier interior with more headroom, and the additional safety benefits of being optimal for pressure resistance.
- An enhanced patent pending splash cone, refined from hundreds of digital iterations, to attenuate splashdown for a gentle and safe landing that improves customer experience and hydrodynamics. With water landings considered by NASA as the low risk way of returning a capsule from space, following the gradual, two-hour descent to Earth and a gentle splash down in the ocean, a Space Perspective crew will retrieve passengers, the capsule, and the SpaceBalloon™ by ship.1 2
- Reflective coated windows and center section, similar to that of an astronaut’s helmet, will limit solar gain and keep the interior Space Lounge comfortable and cool.
- A patent pending thermal control system to amplify comfort. The exterior of the capsule travels through a wide range of thermally dynamic environments and the system will keep the interiors and Space Explorers at a consistently comfortable temperature.
Spaceship Neptune’s design is the culmination of serial inventions in patented technologies aligned to space exploration and the phenomenal efforts of a world-class team in examining every aspect of the design and its function. The capsule seamlessly marries the singular demands of space travel in relation to pressure, temperature and structural engineering to the ultimate user experience.
“Centuries of balloon and parachute operation and development demonstrate that always flying with the balloon from launch through landing, with traditional parachutes as a reserve backup system, is by far the simplest, safest and most robust solution. Our proprietary flight system means that the capsule and SpaceBalloon™ always remain connected, and take-off and landing conditions are always within our control. The team has come together to create an amazingly robust, safe, and incredibly elegant and luxurious system for Spaceship Neptune. Simplicity and automation are the keys to safety,” said Taber MacCallum, Founder, Co-CEO and CTO of Space Perspective.
“We are proud to announce our team members who lead the experience design for Spaceship Neptune, Dan Window, Experience Design Lead, and Isabella Trani, Experience Designer,” continued MacCallum. “From the details of the category defining Space Lounge™ interior, to the stunning exterior design, our team integrated the physics, engineering, analysis, and design elements to create the Space Perspective experience.” Dan Window and Isabella Trani are world experts in the design of premium transportation systems including the New Tube for London, the Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric aircraft, and the Hyperloop, and are co-founders at Of My Imagination.
They said: “Space travel presents a new realm of exciting challenges and creative thinking. As design specialists we have integrated the travel experience and aesthetic – from head room and groups of Explorers being able to move around comfortably within Spaceship Neptune from chair to restroom to bar – to, of course, maximising the once-in-a-lifetime views. The pioneering 360-degree windows will be accompanied by satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras to zoom in and out on the incredible vista. We now also have an exterior aesthetic that is every bit as powerful as the interior revealed in April - the engineering team have delivered an unsurpassable outcome in relation to performance and safety."
“As transportation designers, we are always looking to drive forward how and where we can take people next. Space travel is at the pinnacle of that, which is why we are excited to be working with Space Perspective to play a part in shaping this incredible experience.”
Space Perspective collaborated with Siemens, who have provided expertise in rigorous and precise engineering to the design of Spaceship Neptune. Testing iterations of the capsule design were accelerated by using solutions from Siemens Xcelerator portfolio and parallel-processing AWS servers. Siemens’ software processed the complex loads of a six-hour round trip that involves travel through air, space, and water while maintaining a safe, comfortable environment for passengers, meant that more virtual tests and simulations were able to be run than previously possible.
Through this technology, delivered through AWS Cloud servers, the Space Perspective engineering team, assisted by Siemens engineers, was able to craft the optimal capsule shape ahead of manufacturing. Simulations were used to demonstrate that the rounded capsule provides the most robust shape for pressure resistance and splashdown within the numerous environments Spaceship Neptune travels through during flight.
Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries added, “Siemens is excited to support this fantastic mission that showcases how Siemens Xcelerator can assist pushing the boundaries of innovation. The sky is no limit for digital transformation, and we are proud to play a part in helping Space Perspective get closer to their goal of lifting people into space in the safest and most stylish way possible.”
Manufacturing of Spaceship Neptune has already begun with 100,000 square feet of facilities, 300,000 square feet of dedicated testing apron area, and operations centre at the NASA KSC Shuttle Landing Facility. With almost 900 tickets sold to date and the purchase of entire capsules for eight popular, commercial flights are targeted to begin in late 2024. Space Perspective is currently taking reservations for 2025 and beyond. Tickets are priced $125,000 per person, and bookings are made with a fully refundable deposit beginning at $1,000 (customers can also book and pay online via crypto - a first in the commercial space flight industry). Space Perspective’s human spaceflight launches are regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
*Peter Tinkham is a machinist and A&P Aircraft Mechanic with more than 10 years’ experience fabricating and assembling large composite structures and flight hardware for the aerospace industry. Prior to joining Space Perspective, he spent five years at SpaceX as a Launch Technician and Vehicle and Payload Integration Supervisor.
About Space Perspective
Space Perspective is the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience company. It invites more people than has historically been possible to experience a thrillingly new and visceral perspective that expands the human consciousness – the incredibly exhilarating panoramas and scale of Earth in space. The Observer cited Space Perspective as “the best suborbital space tourism offering in the world.”
Setting a new bar in out-of-this-world thrilling experiences, as soon as late 2024 Space Perspective plans to take Space Explorers to space inside Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance SpaceBalloon without using rocket fuel or high G forces. Space Explorers see the world anew through its vast windows, 450 miles in any direction. The ultra-comfortable, accessible and gentle six-hour journey redefines space travel.
Space Perspective is led by industry luminaries Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum and their unique-in-the-world expert crew who have been integral to all human SpaceBalloon flights in the last 50 years. Building on that experience, the Space Perspective crew has innovated and patented the safest spaceflight experience in the world. Poynter and MacCallum have been dubbed ‘Masters of the stratosphere’ by Bloomberg Businessweek. MacCallum also served as Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.
The focus on taking care of the world we live in is nothing new to Poynter: over the years, she has led ground-breaking environmental projects for the United Nations and the International Space Station, including the development of the first carbon sequestration model of a mangrove forest that could be used to calculate carbon credits to provide additional income to the community.
About Of My Imagination
Of My Imagination (OMI) is a London-based design studio founded by Daniel Window and Isabella Trani specialising in the next generation of transport design. OMI works in collaboration with industry-leading clients to develop cutting-edge, sustainability-focused transportation. Bringing a fresh take to this new landscape of mobility, the studio is focused on creating exciting and unique passenger experiences.
A list of relevant Siemens trademarks can be found here.