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Space Perspective test flies its balloon 20 miles over Florida that will take humans to orbit

Space tourism startup Space Perspective successfully completed its first unmanned test flight Friday of a gigantic balloon that will soon take humans to orbit.

The company launched a prototype of its stratospheric balloon 20 miles over Florida

Its Neptune Once spaceship test vehicle took off from the Space Coast Air and Spaceport in Cape Canaveral and hit its planned altitude of 108,409 feet where it hovered for six hours before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.

With this flight, Space Perspective became the first space launch operator to fly from the Space Coast Spaceport, and put its on track for its first crewed test flight in 2023.

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Space tourism startup Space Perspective successfully completed its first unmanned test flight Friday of a gigantic balloon that will soon take humans to orbit

Space Perspective is a new startup founded in 2020 by Jane Poynter and Taber McCallum, who previously co-founded World View – a firm that deploys sensors to the stratosphere attached to balloons to capture space imagery.  

And they are using this idea to send humans to the edge of space.

Co-CEO and founder Poynter said in a statement: 'It is an incredible privilege launching from the space coast, where the history of human spaceflight was forged over the past decades and continues to build momentum today.

'Flying on Spaceship Neptune will be an extraordinary experience for our Space Explorers.

The company launched a prototype of its stratospheric balloon 20 miles over Florida at 5:23am ET, putting in on schedule for the first commercial flight in 2024

Its Neptune Once spaceship test vehicle took off from the Space Coast Air and Spaceport with the Space Perspective team standing by

As of December 202, Space  has raised $7 million in a seed round, which is being used to test its technologies, Space News reports.

 Space Perspective's Spaceship Neptune will host nine people and a mini bar, all of which will be encased in large windows.

The 'cruise' would entail a two-hour ascent into the atmosphere, where it will then hover over the Atlantic Ocean for another two hours.

'I could not be more proud of the performance of the team and the flight system. It was spectacular to witness the teamwork and the high level of expertise yield such a successful result,' said co-CEO and founder MacCallum.

'This test flight of Neptune One kicks off our extensive test flight campaign, which will be extremely robust because we can perform tests without a pilot, making Spaceship Neptune an extremely safe way to go to space.'

Space Perspective's Spaceship Neptune will host nine people and a mini bar, all of which will be encased in large windows

The 'cruise' would entail a two-hour ascent into the atmosphere, where it will then hover over the Atlantic Ocean for another two hours

Space Perspective may have hit a major milestone, but it will not be the first company to send tourists to space - Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX are leading the industry.

Bezos recently closed an auction for a seat aboard its first crewed spaceflight, in which an unnamed bidder paid $28 million. 

The July 20 launch - which coincides with the 51st anniversary of the moon landing - will be the first test of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company's space tourism business. 

SpaceX is working with Axiom Space, which is building a privately-owned successor to the ISS.

The team plans to use Falcon 9 rockets to send tourists to space, with the first mission heading to the International Space Station in the second quarter of 2021. 

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