Talk of space tourism is blasting off just one day after Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson made history by being the first billionaire to travel into the cosmos in a spaceship he helped fund.
But one company asserts there are other ways to take a galactic voyage; rather than rocketing through the atmosphere, for instance, you can float.
Taber MacCallum, co-founder of Space Perspective (alongside his wife, Jane Poynter), joined FOX Business' "Varney & Co." Monday to detail the company's intention behind the latest space travel venture -- floating into the stratosphere in a space balloon.
"This is the slow, gentle way to go," MacCallum, a former technical adviser to Elon Musk on human spaceflight before SpaceX was a reality, told host Stuart Varney. "[A] 12 mile-an-hour ride, 6-hour flight."
The expedition, which accommodates eight passengers plus one pilot, is already sold out until the end of 2024. According to the company website, Space Perspective reimagines the thrill of space exploration with the world’s most radically gentle voyage to space. Space Explorers and travel adventurers looking to upgrade their bucket list can now savor 360-degree views of planet Earth from 20 mi/30 km above, on a luxurious six-hour trip inside Spaceship Neptune, propelled by a state-of-the-art space balloon the size of a football stadium.
The flight of a lifetime costs $125,000 per person, half what Branson has valued a ticket on Virgin Galactic to be worth.
In the segment, Varney noted Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos, who's expected to take his own test flight into space in just eight days via the rocket-fueled "New Shepard," threw shade on Branson, suggesting his rival hadn't actually gone into space.
MacCallum was quick to disagree, suggesting that, by his own calculations, Branson went "well into space."
"Everyone's got their own definition of space," MacCallum explained. "We figure that last 1% of the Earth's atmosphere that extends past the space station, a thousand miles into space… that, for all intents and purposes, that's, for us, the edge of space."
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
The Space Perspective CEO maintains he and his wife's alternative to both Branson's and Bezos' ventures is not just more affordable, but more comfortable -- dispelling doubts that passengers will have to experience weightlessness on board.
MacCallum went on to point out that, of the reported 200 plus reservations already purchased, there will be a fair share of weddings and marriage proposals aboard "Neptune" planned for 2024.