Fine Dining at the Edge of Space

The consumer space race just got a new entrant. France’s Zephalto is taking bookings for an out-of-this-world dining experience coming in 2025, which will transport people up in capsule attached to a balloon for lunch in the stratosphere.

Zephalto have partnered Sith the French Space Agency and are planning on 60 flights a year, with just six passengers on board each flight. The company aims to provide an experience that brings the best bits of French hospitality—fine food, wine and design—to the edges of space for those who can afford the six-figure ticket

The Experience

Taking off from Zephalto’s spaceport in France, the experience begins as guest arrive a couple of days before take-off to partake in exclusive events and to prepare for the process.

On the day of the flight, passengers board the capsule and travel 24.9 kilometers above the earth’s surface, with the ascent lasting 90 minutes. They’ll spend three hours floating in the air before descending, and the whole experience will last six hours in total.

The on-board experience will be tailored for individual customer preferences, with particular attention paid to food. Zephalto is striving to offer Michelin-star quality cuisine to guests, though the company declined to name any potential chef-partners. During the three-hour meal, diners will be treated to meals created by renowned French chefs and guided wine tastings from an onboard sommelier. The interiors of the dining capsule are designed by Joseph Dirand, the creative mind behind Paris’s Loulou and Monsieur Bleu restaurants, and the Balmain and Givenchy stores in the French capital.

Zephalto’s balloons are equipped with WiFi, so passengers can share the experience to friends and family back on Earth.

Once at peak altitude, which is about three times higher than for a commercial airliner, the balloon will stay for three hours, giving guests a chance to take in views previously seen only by astronauts. The descent will take a further hour and a half, for a six-hour round trip. While certification will allow the balloons to land anywhere in Europe, the initial flights will take off and land on French soil.

The Overview Effect

Seeing Earth from way above can be challenging. The Overview Effect is the term for the extraordinary emotion astronauts have described when looking own on earth from space, an experience that gives an entire new perspective on the universe and our place within it. An option to speak with a psychologist before the flight is wrapped into the fare for those who need psychological preparation for the experience.

Zephalto is committed to presenting a low-carbon alternative to space travel. Compared to a suborbital rocket-based flight that emits 4.5 tonnes of CO2 per passenger – which would increase the temperature of the Antarctica by 1 degree Celsius after 1,000 flights – Zephalto’s balloons generate 26.6 kg of CO2 per trip, making it one of the least polluting means for travelling to the stratosphere.


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