Space Perspective balloon-building plant to be dedicated in Titusville | Space


Imagine watching dawn break from 100,000 feet above ground level, with the brilliant sun peeking above Earth’s blue atmosphere into a deep-black starry sky with “incredible colors playing across the surface of the planet.”

That’s how Space Perspective founder and co-CEO Jane Poynter envisions the experiences of her company’s future space tourists, who are booking $125,000 trips aboard high-altitude balloons with pressurized “space lounge” capsules furnished with cocktail bars, wi-fi and luxurious appointments.

“It’s just this incredibly beautiful, contemplative, extraordinary moment of experiencing our planet in a way that, to date, only astronauts have seen,” Poynter said.

This sci-fi vision is taking tangible shape in Titusville. Tuesday morning, a host of officials will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Space Perspective’s balloon-manufacturing facility — a 700-foot-long building — at Space Coast Regional Airport. The event starts at 11 a.m.

Poynter labeled the building “the world’s only high-volume space balloon manufacturing facility,” and she described its size and scale as “a little mind-boggling.” At high altitude, the hydrogen-filled polyethylene balloons will expand into a teardrop shape measuring 350 feet in diameter. That’s wider than the length of a football field.

“We lay out the balloon material on these really long tables that are 600 feet long,” Poynter said of the Titusville manufacturing facility.

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Space Perspective was founded in 2019. Poynter said more than 130 employees now work at the Titusville balloon plant and at a Melbourne manufacturing facility, where workers are crafting the exterior structure of the company’s Neptune pressurized capsule. Each capsule will house seating for eight passengers and a pilot.

Test flights should begin by year’s end out at sea from the deck of Marine Spaceport Voyager, a 294-foot-long vessel undergoing modifications…

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