Space travel is now opening up entirely new experiences in the world of luxury and Mercedes-Maybach is here for it. Mercedes-Maybach is partnering with Space Perspective, which has created the world's first carbon-neutral spaceflight experience for deep-pocketed passengers. Not only is Mercedes-Maybach going to be the official chauffeur for Space Perspective's passengers but it could also be helping design the interior of the pressurized capsule they'll be riding in.
Space Perspective was founded by Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, veterans of the aerospace industry, and its goal is to create sustainable, climate-friendly space travel that's more accessible than ever before. The spacecraft that will carry Space Perspective's "Explorers" is called Spaceship Neptune and it will be carried to 100,000 feet by the company's giant SpaceBalloon. OK, so that isn't actually in space but instead in Earth's stratosphere, one of the layers of our atmosphere. Still, it provides an incredible view of the Earth's surface and is much higher than any commercial aircraft will go.
Each balloon ride to the stratosphere will take six hours: two hours to reach 100,000 feet, two hours to hang out and drink cocktails with the greatest view on Earth, and two hours to descend. The cabin of Spaceship Neptune is capable of holding eight passengers, plus the captain, and Space Perspective claims it's capable of doing 140 trips per year.
Inside the cabin of Spaceship Neptune's "Space Lounge," passengers will be spoiled by a 360-degree view and first-class meals and cocktails, the sort of experience you'd expect from a Maybach partnership. Especially since each ticket for these stratosphere balloon rides costs $125,000.
Mercedes-Maybach will use electric vehicles to shuttle Space Perspective's passengers to and from the facilities, any activities that may occur, and the launch site in Florida. While there's no official word on whether Mercedes-Maybach will have a hand in designing the capsule's interior, the two brands are said to be "exploring design and hospitality integrations for Explorers’ end-to-end experiences."
Space Perspective will resume its unmanned test flights for the rest of 2023 but plans to begin crewed test flights in 2024. By the end of 2024, the company wants to start taking paid passengers and it claims to have more than 1,650 ticketed Explorers. Reservations are now being taken and if you want in, you can book your trip now.
While this is admittedly just another luxury experience of the uber-rich, it does sound pretty awesome. Having dinner and drinks while hovering in Earth's atmosphere sounds incredible. Sure, 100,000 feet isn't exactly space but it's high enough that you can see the curvature of the Earth and the inky blackness of space. If I had tech-millionaire money, I'd probably buy a ticket as soon as possible.
Got tips? Send 'em to email@example.com