“If you’re looking for the fury and vibration of a rocket, you’ve come to the wrong place,” says Jane Poynter, cofounder of Space Perspective. “Our Spaceship Neptune offers a gentle ride into space that lets clients absorb the astronaut experience.”


The football-field-sized space balloon carrying the bulbous cabin into the sky at 12 mph (picture the pace of a leisurely bike ride) is in market contrast to the thunderous Flash Gordon blastoffs of Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. Spaceship Neptune’s swanky, pressurized lounge is a panopticon of windows and includes a bar and bathroom. There’s even Wi-Fi. Instead of g forces gluing fliers to their seats, eight passengers and one pilot will sit in recliners, chatting and sipping cocktails as they gradually zoom out on Kennedy Space Center—Spaceship Neptune’s home port—until it becomes the Florida peninsula, then the East Coast and, eventually, a grand view of Earth itself.


“Some people would love to go pre-dawn,” says Poynter, “so you can really experience the extraordinary sky and see the iconic blue line that separates the Earth below and space. There’s almost a crazy rainbow effect.”