Prime Movers Lab
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Prime Movers Lab

Why We Invested in Space Perspective (Again!)

Why we believe Space Perspective is the best-positioned company to democratize space tourism.

Today, we are thrilled to share that we are leading a $40 million Series A funding round in Space Perspective, after leading its $7 million seed round at the end of last year. To be honest, Jane, Taber, and the rest of the Space Perspective team made it an easy decision with their tremendous execution over the past year. The company’s progress was punctuated by its landmark test flight in June 2021 and the subsequent successful launch of its public ticket sales. This round will be used to accelerate its development towards commercial SpaceBalloon™ flights in 2024.

2021 has been a landmark year for the burgeoning space tourism industry. Nearly 20 years after Dennis Tito became the first “space tourist,” opportunities to fly in space aboard spacecraft from Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and others have finally started to trickle online to meet the torrent of pent-up demand from consumers eager to explore the final frontier of space. However, as many of us watched these historic flights, we were struck by two things: their brevity and the collective concern we shared for the passenger’s safety. It is clear to us (and to the many Space Perspective ticket holders) that rockets are a problematic vehicle for experiencing space.

Most potential space tourists are interested, not for the rocket ride, but for the life-changing, perspective-shifting view of looking down on Earth contrasted against the blackness of space. This phenomenon has been referred to by astronauts as, The Overview Effect. The magic of Space Perspective is its SpaceBalloon technology and the superior experience that it will provide its passengers.

Photo from Space Perspective’s test flight in June 2021.

Space Perspective will fly eight passengers and a pilot to the edge of space and back in a climate-controlled, pressurized capsule, Spaceship Neptune, propelled by a high-performance 300-feet-in-diameter SpaceBalloon™. Spaceship Neptune’s flight path includes a gradual and gentle two-hour ascent at 12 MPH, rising to 100,000 feet (a suborbital climb, topping-out above 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere). Gliding at apogee for up to two hours to enjoy the view, before making a similarly gradual, two-hour descent to Earth. Passengers trade in the explosions and high-G-forces of a rocket for a serene ride to space while enjoying a cocktail.

Transporting humans to these altitudes is not easy and of course, safety is paramount. We had our team of engineers, subject matter experts, and advisors — who have decades of experience working for NASA, national research laboratories, and leading aerospace companies — conduct technical due diligence and we believe that Space Perspective’s approach and the maturity of the company’s technology will make them the safest way to experience space.

Ultimately, the reason we invested (again) is that Space Perspective represents the long-sought-after confluence of superior technology, world-class execution, and the right market timing. We are thrilled to be continuing our journey with this team.

(If you want to learn more about the space tourism industry, check out my deep dive here.)

Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation, and agriculture.

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