As you may recall, about two years ago, Space tourism startup Space Perspective announced its plan to send people to the edge of space aboard Spaceship Neptune, a balloon-borne pressurized capsule that’s scheduled to make its first test flights early this year. Unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which is priced at $250,000, Space Perspective priced the space experience for only $125,000 per passenger.
To bring the out-of-this-world thrilling space experiences to space explorers, Space Perspective announced today it has raised $17 million in additional funding from a group of investors including Silicon Valley Bank, Trinity Capital, and investor and philanthropist Henry Kravis.
The new partners join existing investors Prime Movers Lab, LightShed Ventures, Explorer 1 Fund, Yamauchi no.10 Family Office, Tony Robbins, E2MC, SpaceFund, Kirenaga Partners, Base Ventures, and 1517 Fund. The funding, which brings the company’s total capital raised to date to more than $65 million, will be used to accelerate the company’s continued growth.
The additional $17 million in funding is another significant milestone achieved by Space Perspective over the past few months. In December 2021, Space Perspective announced Florida’s Space Coast Spaceport adjacent to Kennedy Space Center as the location for the company’s worldwide campus and manufacturing complex.
Founded by the Co-CEO Taber MacCallums, Space Perspective is the world’s first luxury spaceflight experience company. It has completed extensive international market research and a new design built on 50+ years of proven technology. Spaceship Neptune was developed from the ground up for maximum safety, accessibility, near-zero emissions, and routine operations around the world. The balloon measures the length of a football stadium and the pressurized capsule is comfortable and spacious.
“The Spaceship Neptune team includes every living engineer to have designed a SpaceBalloon capsule, including the world record Red Bull Stratos capsule, engineers behind our StratEx World Record human SpaceBalloon flight, and world-class designers from the aircraft, automotive, and transportation industries,” said Taber MacCallum, Founder, Co-CEO and Chief Technology Officer of Space Perspective. “The team has achieved true elegance in the design and engineering of Spaceship Neptune.”
As soon as late 2024, Space Perspective said it plans to take Space Explorers to space inside Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance SpaceBalloon without using rocket fuel or high G forces. Space Explorers see the world anew – 450 miles in any direction – through Spaceship Neptune’s vast panoramic windows, the largest-ever flown to the edge of space.
“We are so excited for the opportunity to support Space Perspective with venture debt financing and be a small part in providing people the life-changing experience of space travel,” said Ryan Edwards, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank.
Flown by a pilot, Neptune takes up to eight passengers called “Explorers” on a six-hour journey to the edge of space and safely back, where only 20 people have been before. It will carry people and research payloads on a two-hour gentle ascent above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere to 100,000 feet, where it cruises above the Earth for up to two hours allowing passengers to share their experience via social media and with their fellow Explorers. Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers, the capsule, and the balloon. Neptune’s commercial human spaceflight launches are regulated by the FAA Office of Commercial Spaceflight.
Below is a video of Spaceship Neptune in action.