This Fine Dining Experience in Space Will Cost $495,000 a Plate

A space exploration venture is hoping to entice adventurous guests.
The experience is not for the faint of heart (or those with thin wallets).
The experience is not for the faint of heart (or those with thin wallets). / ThomasVogel/E+ via Getty Images

In the early days of space exploration, astronauts consumed tubes of applesauce and puréed beef. Appetizing? Not really. But as time and privatized space exploration goes on, space food is advancing: One may soon be able to enjoy a meal from a Michelin-starred chef while in orbit. The cost: $495,000, gratuity not included.

Copenhagen-based chef Rasmus Munk is planning to offer a culinary experience via space tourism platforms SpaceVIP and Space Perspective while diners are in sub-orbit. The premium table will be on board the Spaceship Neptune, a space capsule that can accommodate eight people, not including crew. The idea is to offer six patrons an incomparable view of the sun rising while the capsule settles in at 100,000 feet above sea level. (This is not technically space—it’s still well within Earth’s stratosphere.)

The Neptune capsule is powered by a hydrogen-filled balloon that SpaceVIP notes is large enough to accommodate an entire football stadium. It has not yet taken to the skies but plans are underway to have it in space by the end of 2024, with the dinner flights taking off sometime in 2025. And yes, alcohol will be served.

In a statement, SpaceVIP notes that “Space Perspective offers the most safe and accessible way to travel to space with its Spaceship Neptune, which delivers a completely reimagined spaceflight experience with no training or special gear required.”

The total trip time is expected to take six hours, with two hours devoted to the ascent and two hours to the return. Though it’s not precisely clear how much food preparation and cooking is possible onboard, it’s likely some dishes will be assembled in advance and heated once in the air. (Naturally, no open flames will be permitted.)

The cost doesn’t appear to be discouraging. SpaceVIP founder Roman Chiporukha told Bloomberg that dozens of people have made inquiries about the six-seat journey and that the table will likely be booked within the coming weeks.

While the ambiance is certainly unique, the participation of Munk is almost equally intriguing. The chef operates Alchemist, a restaurant that has developed a reputation for serving bizarre concoctions like freeze-dried butterflies and ice cream made from deer blood. If that seems like performance art, you’re on to something: Munk seemingly uses his menu to create conversations about societal issues. (Ordering the deer blood dessert also brings a QR code to donate blood; cod served with edible plastic highlights ocean pollution.) Munk is particularly concerned with food waste and sustainability. The space dinner is part of that ambition, with Munk saying in a statement that he hopes the journey will spark discussion about environmental protection.

In the past, NASA astronauts have complained about losing their sense of taste in space, possibly owing to shifts in fluid prompting nasal congestion. It’s not clear whether this will be a concern for the SpaceVIP passengers.

The involved parties have pledged to use proceeds from the gastronomic event to fund the Space Prize Foundation, which develops opportunities for women in space exploration.

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[h/t Robb Report]