A space startup may include a toilet with a view for their passengers
According to CNN, a space tourism startup called Space Perspective may surprise visitors with an extraordinary view from their restroom. The Florida-based company intends to use a pressurized capsule suspended from a sophisticated balloon to carry passengers 100,000 feet to the edge of space.
Naturally, the capsule needed an onboard restroom, given that excursions are scheduled to last approximately six hours. Founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective Jane Poynter, who was born in the UK, came up with the idea of a “loo with a view” after brainstorming with her team.
Designers Dan Window and Isabella Trani’s concepts show a shiny bathroom with a wide window showing the stars and the earth’s curvature. According to Poynter, the restroom is intended to serve as a spot for visitors to reflect on their space adventures.
“It’s going to be almost overwhelming at certain points”, Poynter says of the experience. “So we wanted to create a space where people could go to take time for themselves for a moment”.
Although the view is the primary draw, there is a window blind as well—more for privacy since there aren’t many other people around and for when visitors need to take a moment to focus.
“That’s why the toilet seat itself has a cushion, so you can sit there”, adds Poynter.
According to Poynter, the restroom design prioritizes “wellness,” which is why the official name of the facility is “Space Spa”.
In response to a question from CNN Travel about whether the moniker implies that a hot tub would eventually be installed next to the sink and toilet, Poynter chuckles and says, “The capsule interior can be modified”, which might mean adding anything from a dining room table to a research space.
Few tourists have ventured into space since Dennis Tito, the first of his kind, did so in 2001. However, well-known space tourism businesses like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic have been active in this market lately, promising to make space the next trendy destination for travelers.
The French company Zephalto is also organizing trips via stratospheric balloon to provide Michelin-starred meals on the “edge of space”.
It’s important to keep in mind that traveling to suborbital space, which is 60 miles above Earth and involves a brief exposure to weightlessness and space views, differs significantly from traveling to orbital space, which involves gravity-defying high-speed takeoffs and longer durations.
Additionally, journeys to the “edge of space”, such as those suggested by Zephalto and Space Perspective, are unique.
Even though these capsules won’t reach suborbital space, they will nevertheless travel at a far greater altitude than the typical commercial aircraft. That translates to breathtaking views of the stars and the Earth, but without the sensation of weightlessness and lack of gravity, which is why a chic bathroom is feasible.
By the end of 2024, Space Perspective plans to begin flying up to eight people.
Though Poynter acknowledges that the company is working toward that date, she advises against scheduling it as there are still a few steps left before the balloon and capsule can take off.
According to Poynter, the team places a high priority on maintaining safety, and the company is subject to regulation by the US Coast Guard and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Space Perspective plans to begin testing flights shortly.
The precise lift-off date is still unknown, but Space Perspective’s $125,000 tickets are selling quickly.
Once again, bathrooms demonstrate a significant importance in enhancing the experience rather than serving only a need function.