Space tourism race leads to development of hydrogen powered spaceship
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A Florida-based company has developed “the only carbon-neutral, zero-emission” craft of its nature.
As the space tourism race continues to heat up, a Florida-based company called Space Perspective has developed a hydrogen powered spaceship to cater to those seeking adventure without greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent CNN report.
The company intends to use its spaceship to take people on suborbital adventures at 100,000 feet.
The Space Perspective craft, called Spaceship Neptune, is the company’s latest patented capsule design. It is in the form of a pressurized capsule suspended from a massive cutting-edge hydrogen powered hot air balloon. This latest version of the design provides a more spacious interior than previous designs. The spherical shape of the capsule offers travelers more headspace in addition to a safety boost as a sphere offers an ideal form for pressure resistance. The Space Lounge within it provides a luxury experience with mood lighting, deep reclining seats and even a bar, which makes sense at $125,000 per ticket.
The windows have a reflective coating comparable to that of astronaut EVA suit helmets to ensure that temperatures inside the capsule will remain comfortable. A new patent-pending thermal control system has also been incorporated into the new design.
The hydrogen powered design also ensures the flight results in zero-carbon emissions from propulsion.
Co-founders of Space Perspective Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum were designers of the Biosphere 2 space base air, food and water systems. Moreover, they resided within it for two years, ensuring that they have a solid understanding of the experience and everything that goes into it.
The company has focused their energy on marketing to space tourists for whom a zero-emission experience is also a priority. They avoided the use of fossil fuel and use buoyancy to rise into sub-orbit heights.
Though helium was a conceivable option, it is required for critical medical applications and is in limited supply, so Spaceship Neptune is hydrogen powered instead. “The lift gas inside the balloon is lighter than air and allows Neptune to float on top of the Earth’s atmosphere like an ice cube on water,” said the company in a description of the process.