Priestmangoode, a transport design consultancy with offices in London and China, and the Paragon Space Development Corporation, headquartered in Arizona, USA, have revealed plans for a concept design – the World View capsule, which will offer a spectacular human flight into near space.

Imagine travelling in a luxurious vessel to the edge of space, kicking back with a beverage of your choice as you gently ascend, gazing out the wide windows as you reach the highlight of your journey: seeing the Earth from near space – a sight that will quite simply take your breath away.

This is the vision that the Paragon Space Development Corporation had when it came up with its idea for the World View Spaceflights Capsule. Transporting eight people, the pressurised vessel will take up to two hours to reach the intended altitude of 30km where it will remain for between two and six hours before returning to Earth.

In order to help them turn this idea into a reality, the founders of the Paragon Space Development Corporation enlisted the help of the designers at Priestmangoode. The brief was to create a luxury vessel befitting such an experience.

“We didn’t just want to design a vessel, we wanted to define what commercial space travel could be. We wanted to create a stylish, elegant, luxurious environment for this unique experience. It was all about finding the right balance between form and function,” explains Nigel Goode, director of Priestmangoode.

Of course, one of the most important features of the capsule is the windows, which needed to be big in order to offer the best views. As a result, the team designed large panoramic windows constructed from an array of small high-pressure units.

“It was crucial to find a way to maximise the viewing windows. In our initial design meetings with the World View team, they talked about wanting to start the journey before dawn, so that as passengers rose up to space, they would be able to observe the sunrise, the curvature of the Earth, the thin blue atmosphere and the blackness of space,” says Goode.

“The windows we designed offer the maximum amount of viewing space for passengers, whilst meeting stringent safety requirements. There is also a cupola viewing dome for unrestricted view of the Earth’s curvature,” he adds.

According to Paragon, subscale testing will soon get underway, demonstrating the flight characteristics of the overall integrated system. Thereafter, the capsule will be built, although that may still be a couple of years away, but in the meantime you can start saving the $75,000 that it will cost to experience only what astronauts have.

“We look forward to pioneering this new, accessible and affordable spaceflight regime, and to sharing the breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experience with people from around the globe,” says Jane Poynter, co-founder of Paragon and CEO of World View.

Images © World View Enterprises, Inc

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