Spaceship Neptune by Space Perspective and Of My Imagination

Space Perspective develops "even more thrilling" design for space-travel capsule

Space tourism company Space Perspective has unveiled a redesign of its travel capsule, promising passengers a smoother and safer journey to the edge of the stratosphere.

Space Perspective has worked with London-based industrial design studio Of My Imagination to redesign its Spaceship Neptune, which will use a giant hydrogen-filled balloon to fly tourists to space.

Now in production, the state-of-the-art spacecraft is designed to give passengers plenty of room to move around while they enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views.

Spaceship Neptune by Space Perspective and Of My Imagination
Spaceship Neptune is now spherical to improve comfort and safety

Space Perspective promises the experience will be "safer, more comfortable, and even more thrilling" compared to its previous capsule concept.

"The team has come together to create an amazingly robust, safe, and incredibly elegant and luxurious system for Spaceship Neptune," said the company's founder, co-CEO and CTO, Taber MacCallum.

Spaceship Neptune by Space Perspective and Of My Imagination
The pressurised capsule is lifted into space by a giant balloon

Due to begin commercial flights in late 2024, Spaceship Neptune consists of a climate-controlled, pressurised passenger capsule that is lifted into space by a giant, high-performance hydrogen balloon.

Space Perspective worked with design studio PriestmanGoode on the concept design, which was unveiled in 2020.

Of My Imagination – a studio founded by ex-PriestmanGoode designers Dan Window and Isabella Trani – has since been working with the company to develop the production version.

Spaceship Neptune interior
The spherical cabin creates more headroom for passengers

The latest version includes a more spherical vessel that offers greater headroom for passengers, but also provides additional safety benefits due to its increased pressure resistance.

The vessel enables a more comfortable indoor climate, according to Space Perspective, thanks to a patent-pending thermal control system and reflective coatings applied to the exterior and windows, which reduce solar gain.

An enhanced splash cone has also been incorporated to create a gentler and safer landing as the capsule descends down into the ocean – an approach that NASA recommends as being the most low-risk.

Spaceship Neptune interior
The interior incorporates reconfigurable seats, plants and a cocktail bar

The news comes three months after Space Perspective unveiled designs for Spaceship Neptune's interior, which it described as "the world's first space lounge".

Window and Trani – whose previous projects include Hyperloop trains and the Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric aircraft – were also behind this design, which features reconfigurable seats, plants, sustainable materials and a cocktail bar.

"Space travel presents a new realm of exciting challenges and creative thinking," said the duo.

"As design specialists we have integrated the travel experience and aesthetic – from headroom 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."

Spaceship Neptune interior
Satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras are part of the experience

In addition to the 360-degree windows, Of My Imagination's design also provides passengers with satellite imagery and 360-degree cameras to zoom in and out of the view.

"We now also have an exterior aesthetic that is every bit as powerful as the interior revealed in April," said Window and Trani.

"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."

Spaceship Neptune by Space Perspective and Of My Imagination
The design was developed following thousands of virtual flight tests and simulations

These improvements reflect the latest engineering research carried out by Space Perspective in collaboration with Siemens Digital Industries and AWS.

Using Siemens software and AWS cloud servers, the design and engineering team were able to carry out thousands of virtual flight tests and simulations, and discover that a spherical capsule offers the smooth and safest journey for passengers.

Following the two-hour descent and splash-down, a Space Perspective crew will retrieve both passengers and the spacecraft by ship.

"Simplicity and automation are the keys to safety," said MacCallum.

Space Perspective engineers
The spacecraft is being manufactured at the Space Perspective campus in Florida

"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," he continued.

Space Perspective is manufacturing Spaceship Neptune at its innovation campus in Florida, located close to its Operations Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

The company has sold more than 900 tickets for flights and is now accepting bookings for 2025.

It is not the only company exploring the benefits of space tourism – rival company World View has developed a similar technology using a helium balloon, while The Gateway Foundation plans to open the first space hotel in 2027.

Dezeen interviewed Space Perspective co-founder Jane Poynter earlier this year, who said that space tourism "will have a huge positive impact on our society".