Space tourism company Space Perspective has revealed the interior design for its lounge-style travel capsule, which will be hauled into the stratosphere by a giant balloon.
Created in-house for the company’s Spaceship Neptune, the cabin has room for up to eight passengers.
Space Perspective has dubbed it “the world’s first Space Lounge” and said it wanted the interior to be distinct from typical spacecraft, with elements such as reclining and reconfigurable seats, plants and sustainable materials and a small cocktail bar.
It will form the interior of a pressurised capsule attached to a high-performance balloon and was designed to give the maximum view of its surroundings.
“Our mission is to inspire Space Explorers to connect more closely with our planet and each other, and the environment in which they travel with us is central to this,” said Space Perspective co-founder, co-CEO and chief experience officer Jane Poynter.
“Our Space Lounge is a world away from the white, utilitarian environments you find in other spacecraft.”
The Neptune Space Lounge is wrapped in 1.5-metre-high panoramic windows that Space Perspective says are the largest windows ever flown to space, and which it claims will provide a view that appears seamless to the human eye.
The main purpose of the interior design is to support the enjoyment of this view. The seats can be reconfigured to host activities such as an intimate dinner for two or a small party, while the centre of the capsule is kept open to accommodate group photography.
A separate bar area with multiple windows and a different look and feel gives guests a destination to explore beyond their seats.
The design team physically trialled hundreds of layouts within a mockup before landing on the final configuration.
“The biggest challenge of designing the interior was to create a multipurpose space that gives users the flexibility to not only sit and enjoy the view but celebrate and share with others,” Space Perspective co-founder, co-CEO and CTO Taber MacCallum, who oversees the in-house design team, told Dezeen.
“We worked hard within the footprint to make the space feel as large and generous as possible, and this is accentuated by the domed ceiling that makes the space feel airy and luxurious,” he continued.
“We’ve also added a multitude of activities for explorers during the flight, including a telescope, podcasts from astronauts, cameras on the inside and outside, small molecular gastronomy meals and inventive space cocktails.”
To reduce reflections in the windows and visual glare from the intensity of the light at full altitude – 100,000 feet up – there is a dark, muted, blue-based colour palette, enhanced by RGB lighting.
“Our colour palette is a reflection of the view outside, with astronauts reporting having seen extremely vivid blues and purples at this altitude,” MacCallum said.
“We wanted to create a space that feels both feels warm and homely, but still adventurous and out of this world,” he added.
While some of the decor is tech-focused, such as an overhead “doughnut” screen displaying information, there are also domestic touches such as floor lamps, plants and herbs including lavender, basil and rosemary, which will be used in the food and drinks.
The materials chosen are soft and tactile, with a focus on sustainability that mirrors Space Perspective’s mission to limit environmental impact, as its hydrogen balloon technology avoids the high greenhouse gas emissions typically associated with space travel.
The bar top is made from proprietary materials recycled from the company’s SpaceBalloon, while the interior is lined with soft, padded, insulating recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) microcloth, and the lounge seats are upholstered in all-natural wool.
Copper details are intended to bring warmth and were also chosen for their resistance to bacteria. They echo the copper tone on Neptune’s exterior windows, which helps to reduce light intensity.
Space Perspective has also announced the appointment of David Grutman, who created The Goodtime Hotel with musician Pharrell Williams, as its”experience curator”.
He will advise on the overall experience design, as well as customisation possibilities for occasions such as birthdays and corporate getaways.
Space Perspective’s six-hour space flights will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with tickets prices set at $125,000 per person. The company expects to commence commercial flights in late 2024 and places are already sold out for the first year.
The exterior of the two-part spacecraft was designed by PriestmanGoode and revealed in 2020.
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