Priestmangoode has designed a capsule to take passengers on balloon flights to the edge of space. (click here for animation)
Priestmangoode is working with the Paragon Space Development Corporation on the World View project to take passengers on balloon flights to the edge of space. Due to launch in three years’ time, World View will carry eight people to the edge of space by means of a helium balloon. The capsule will spend between two and six hours at the intended altitude of 30 kilometres, before returning to Earth.
Priestmangoode was brought in for their expertise designing luxury travel experiences. In their 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.
Priestmangoode commented: “This is a dream project to work on. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of this nascent industry, helping to shape the future of commercial space travel.”
The windows they 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. Other features include a lightweight structure, permanently deployed parafoil to maximise safety, science capsule attached to the top of the exterior for potential scientific data readings, deployable landing gear (skids), a reserve parachute for safety and a unique trailer unit for ground transportation and launching platform.
The idea of space travel naturally brings to mind traditional rocket ships and the aerodynamic forms they command. However, the World View experience is not about speed, it’s about enjoying a once in a lifetime journey. They did not just want to design a vessel, they wanted to define what commercial space travel could be. Priestmangoode wanted to create a stylish, elegant, luxurious environment for this unique experience. The key design feature is the large panoramic windows constructed from an array of small high pressure units. These maximize the viewing space and will enable passengers to get the most out of this extraordinary journey.