Mercedes-Benz has long epitomized the apex of opulence and mobility, crafting vehicles that offer the utmost comfort on both the road and off. From their technologically advanced S-Class and the rugged, ever-reliable G-Class SUV to the opulent Maybach line of ultra-luxury automobiles, the esteemed German marque has served as a guiding light for innovation and luxury in the automotive realm.
However, a groundbreaking collaboration is poised to propel that iconic three-pointed star even closer to the actual North Star.
The “Maybach of Spacecraft”
Mercedes, through its ultra-luxury Maybach division, has teamed up with the premium spaceflight experience provider Space Perspective to usher in the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceflight experience.
Space Perspective, founded by aerospace industry experts Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, is dedicated to rendering accessible, eco-friendly space travel to a broader audience.
During an approximately six-hour excursion, referred to as the journey of “explorers,” passengers will be transported in a pressurized capsule called Spaceship Neptune to an altitude of 100,000 feet, exceeding the typical cruising altitude of commercial airlines by more than threefold.
What distinguishes Spaceship Neptune from spacecraft operated by companies such as Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic is its reliance on non-fossil fuel-burning engines. Instead, the capsule ascends to the stratosphere using a colossal balloon known as the “Space Balloon,” designed to provide a comfortable experience reminiscent of a hot air balloon.
“In Spaceship Neptune, there’s no need for spacesuits or any of that; instead, we’re using a balloon that gently takes people to space to offer that quintessential astronaut experience,” explained Jane Poynter, founder, co-CEO, and Biosphere 2 scientist at Space Perspective.
The Neptune’s cabin is designated as the “Space Lounge,” where “explorers” can relish 360-degree vistas of Earth and indulge in first-class dining and cocktails. Mercedes-Maybach’s partnership with Space Perspective involves employing Mercedes-Maybach electric vehicles for the transportation of explorers to and from their facilities and the launch site situated near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“Our collaboration with Space Perspective will enable space explorers to embark on a stylish terrestrial journey, extending the pinnacle of Maybach refinement and brand experience to the edge of space,” said Daniel Lescow, Head of Mercedes-Maybach at Mercedes-Benz Group AG (DDAIF) in a statement. “The pairing of our all-electric Spaceship Neptune with the all-electric Mercedes-Maybach symbolizes a sustainable and inspiration-laden future, not to mention an elevated overall experience for Space Perspective Explorers.”
In a separate announcement, both Mercedes-Maybach and Space Perspective revealed that they are also exploring design and hospitality integrations to enhance the end-to-end experience for explorers.
Space Perspective has already received over 1,650 bookings for their spaceflight experiences, set to commence with passengers in late 2024. However, it’s worth noting that tickets for this extraordinary journey come at a premium, costing $125,000 per person.