From 2025, Zephalto will take intrepid gourmands to the edge of space in a dining capsule attached to a helium-filled balloon. Rose Dykins reports
Zephalto is taking bookings for an out-of-this-world dining experience coming in 2025, which will transport people up in capsule attached to a balloon for lunch in the stratosphere.
The French low-carbon balloon travel company promises to float up to six people at a time 15.5 miles above the surface of the earth for an unforgettable meal, which will cost £105,000 per head.
Diners will travel in a pressurised capsule carried by a balloon “the size of Sacré Coeur”. The vehicle will float upwards at a speed of 13 feet per second.
Vincent Farret d’Astiès, founder of Zephalto told Bloomberg: “We choose [15.5 miles] high because it’s the altitude where you are in the darkness of space, with 98 per cent of the atmosphere below you, so you can enjoy the curvature of the Earth in the blue line. You’re in the darkness of space, but without the zero gravity experience.”Taking off from Zephalto’s spaceport in France, guests will arrive a couple of days before take-off to enjoy exclusive events and to prepare for the process.
On the day of the flight, passengers board the capsule and travel 15.5 miles above the earth’s surface, with the ascent lasting 90 minutes. They’ll spend three hours floating in the air before descending, and the whole experience will last six hours in total.
During the three-hour meal, diners will be treated to meals created by French chefs and guided wine tastings from an onboard sommelier. The interiors of the dining capsule are designed by Joseph Dirand, the creative mind behind Paris’s Loulou and Monsieur Bleu restaurants, and the Balmain and Givenchy stores in the French capital.
Zephalto’s balloons are equipped with wifi, so passengers will be able to livestream their experience to their followers (though they might be too busy enjoying the incredible view of the earth from above).
The Overview Effect is the term for the extraordinary emotion astronauts have described when looking own on earth from space, an experience that gives an entire new perspective on the universe and our place within it.
Zephalto is committed to presenting a low-carbon alternative to space travel. Compared to a suborbital rocket-based flight that emits 4.5 tonnes of CO2 per passenger – which would increase the temperature of the Antarctica by 1 degree celcius after 1,000 flights – Zephalto’s balloons generate 26.6 kg of CO2 per trip, making it one of the least polluting means for travelling to the stratosphere.