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Zephalto Is Offering Stratospheric Balloon Flights 15 Miles Above the Earth

Zephalto Stratospheric Balloon Flight 0 Hero
Photos: Zephalto

While traveling to the stars was once a privilege reserved only for a few very lucky astronauts, the private space tourism industry has started giving the public a chance to venture off of the Earth and take on one of these extreme bucket list experiences. Rather than utilizing full-on rockets, one more affordable method of privatized space travel is new balloon flights — the latest of which has just been announced by fledgling French firm Zephalto.

Zephalto Stratospheric Balloon Flight 1
Photo: Zephalto

Founded by Vincent Farret d’Astiès in 2016, Zephalto aims to offer stratospheric balloon flights in a custom-built vessel — not unlike the Space Perspective Neptune Spaceship ballon announced in 2020 or the World View vessel teased in 2021. Launching from one of several different purpose-built spaceports scattered across the globe, the flight begins with a 1.5-hour accent to 15.5 miles above the surface of the earth — a height at which 98% of the earth’s atmosphere is beneath your feet. From there, 3 hours are spent floating in the stratosphere, providing beyond-world-class views of the globe, before eventually beginning its 1.5-hour descent. 

Designed by current and ex-French Space Agency staffers, this new space tourism offering is achieved using a pressurized balloon that benefits from 11 different patents. Helmed by two pilots, the state-of-the-art capsule boasts 215 square feet of space and seating for six. The balloon also features class-leading 75 square-foot windows. Unsurprisingly, this is a premium experience that will only be available to the incredibly affluent. As such, the flight will feature luxury accommodations with premium seating, drinks, and refreshments. Inside, the balloons will be filled with either helium or hydrogen — the latter of which is used for regular hot air balloons. In total, this low-carbon journey uses less than 58.6lbs of C02 per flight. 

Zephalto Stratospheric Balloon Flight 2
Photo: Zephalto

Zephalto aims to offer 60 balloon flights annually starting in 2025, with boarding passes starting at €120,000 (~ $132,000) per passenger.