Stratospheric exploration company World View has revealed images of the interior of its passenger capsule that takes people to the edge of space while attached to a giant balloon. Champagne will also be served. Jenny Southan reports
Ahead of World View space flights taking off in 2024, the company has built a full-scale prototype of its innovative spacecraft capsule, which will silently ascend to the heavens suspended beneath an enormous silver balloon.
The exterior of the World View space capsule is shaped like a faceted hexagon with softened edges and a pearlescent white finish, which offers thermal management properties but also enhances the geometric detailing and curves.
The capsule also sports large elliptical windows that measure approximately 6.5 feet wide x 4.5 feet high, framing impressive views of the Earth’s curvature and its natural wonders. When seats are in a reclined position, the sky window on top of the capsule provides passengers an exciting line of sight to the balloon lifting them as well as constellations upon reaching float altitude.
The central ceiling pelmet also includes a mood wash light that changes in accordance with the stage in flight to provide optimal viewing out of the capsule’s windows.The unit is climate-controlled and pressurized with an entire interior designed to maximize space, allowing spaceflight participants to move freely and comfortably about the capsule.
The color palette, materials and finishes create an environment of calm, with clean lines, soft tones and clever concealment of functional elements – such as toilet and galley entrances – so the focus remains on the stunning vistas and sights outside. Ryan Hartman, president and chief executive officer of World View, says: “Unveiling our space capsule prototype is a pivotal moment for the company as we continue to prepare for our first launch from the Grand Canyon in just two short years.
“We are thrilled to partner with leaders in aerospace design and engineering to bring our vision to life and ensure spaceflight participants enjoy a truly transformative experience.” Aligned with World View’s commitment to sustainability, care is being taken to ensure materials are sourced from sustainable vendors whenever possible and options for re-use or recycling are being thoroughly explored.
Luxurious, ergonomic seating for eight passengers is configured in pairs, with an additional pair designated for crew members. Amenities including a cocktail table, graphical user interface (GUI) screen (providing educational materials and engaging activities), central console, personal storage and beverage holder, are at spaceflight participants’ fingertips to ensure that no moment of the journey is missed.Each capsule is outfitted with an onboard telescope to maximize viewing throughout the journey. Spaceflight participants will also enjoy gourmet custom dining options and top-shelf drinks throughout their flight and each capsule will be equipped with streaming and mobile communication capabilities to stay in touch with loved ones back on Earth.Projected lift off is scheduled before dawn, providing participants a front row seat to the sunrise on most flights. Along the journey, passengers will take in the curvature of the Earth, thin blue line of the atmosphere, vast darkness of space and constellations.
Without the typical turbulence found on an airplane flight, spaceflight participants will be able to stand and move about the craft shortly after launch. The onboard crew, including one pilot and one concierge, serve as both Earth and space guides, cross-trained in flight operations, hospitality and medical support.World View’s space tourism program begins launching commercial flights in 2024 with voyages taking off from natural and man-made wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef.
Flights will lift passengers in a zero-pressure stratospheric balloon and pressurized space capsule to 100,000 feet altitude, nearly 23 miles above Earth, for an unparalleled experience that will last six to eight hours.
Participants will fully experience and immerse themselves in the beauty, fragility, history and importance of the areas surrounding each location and of the Earth itself.