Next year, six foodies will enjoy a Michelin-starred meal by a 2-star chef on a space balloon. Pixabay

A Danish chef offers a Michelin-star dining experience in space, catering to wealthy foodies willing to pay a staggering $495,000 (£388,250) for a plate.

Luxury space travel company SpaceVIP has partnered with Danish chef Rasmus Munk of Alchemist in Copenhagen to create a Michelin-star menu for a unique 6-hour flight within Earth's atmosphere, launching in 2025.

Next year, six deep-pocketed foodies will embark on a 6-hour journey on a "space balloon," soaring 100,000 feet (30 kilometres) above Earth. During this once-in-a-lifetime experience, these affluent adventurers will indulge in "dishes inspired by the role of space exploration."

This out-of-this-world experience understandably carries an astronomical price tag of $495,000 (£388,250) per ticket. This luxurious space balloon experience, promising diners a glimpse of the cosmos, echoes recent headlines about stratospheric balloon rides offering unobstructed views of outer space, albeit for a fraction of 24 million yen (£149,198).

"We've already had dozens of qualified participants express tremendous interest in this experience, and, with only six seats available, we foresee us securing all passengers in the next few weeks," SpaceVIP founder Roman Chiporukha told Bloomberg.

This culinary adventure will unfold within the luxurious confines of Spaceship Neptune. While referred to as a spaceship, Spaceship Neptune is a pressurised capsule suspended beneath a massive hydrogen balloon.

It doesn't use rockets and jet engines like traditional spacecraft but ensures a gentle ascent for anyone participating without training. Launching from Florida, the balloon will ascend at a gentle pace of 12 mph (19 km/h).

Upon reaching its peak, the balloon will offer diners breathtaking views of Earth through the largest space window ever flown. As this celestial spectacle unfolds, Chef Munk will orchestrate a Michelin-starred dining experience unlike any other.

A Michelin-starred meal at the edge of space

To ensure a comfortable dining experience, Chef Munk emphasises that the craft will remain within the Earth's atmosphere, avoiding microgravity that could disrupt both the guests and the food.

"In this experience, I want to highlight food as a common thread in our human existence, and it will be truly meaningful to serve it while gazing down at the Earth's curvature. I am honoured to be part of what I think will be a transformative once-in-a-lifetime experience," Chef Monk said.

While details about the menu are still scarce, SpaceVIP has confirmed that they cannot cook with an open flame. It is also unclear whether the culinary masterpieces are prepared on the small pod or pre-plated for service.

However, Chef Munk, known for his avant-garde creations at Alchemist, promises a novel experience. Dinners can expect dishes inspired by space exploration, similar to his past work at the Japanese Space Agency.

At his Copenhagen restaurant, Alchemist, the menu (the restaurant calls it "impressions") boasts an impressive array of items, including cod eye gel, wood ants set in candy and a dessert served with silicone heads. The restaurant even created a sakura blossom dish for the Japanese Space Agency in 2010.

Despite a steep price tag, the mission behind this space dinner for six has a surprising eco-friendly twist. Passengers will ascend to the edge of space on the world's first "carbon-neutral spaceship."

Space tourism mission pledges eco-friendly ascent

Highlighting its commitment to a more significant cause, the company will give all proceeds from this celestial culinary experience to the Space Prize Foundation, a charity dedicated to empowering women in the space industry.

According to Alchemist, gazing down on Earth from space might serve as a "sobering reminder of our shared humanity." Roman Chiporukha, founder of SpaceVIP, which is organising the experience, says:

"This inaugural voyage is but the first chapter in SpaceVIP's mission to harness the transformative power of space travel to elevate human consciousness and shape the course of our collective evolution."

This experience taps into a psychological phenomenon known as the Overview Effect, which alludes to the effect of looking at Earth from space. The effect can trigger a shift in consciousness or a profound connection to Earth's fragility.

In its statement, Alchemist noted that seeing Earth from space "has the power to create a cognitive shift and inspire a greater appreciation for Earth and a deep connection to humanity as a whole."

Whether witnessing Earth from space while enjoying a luxurious meal can foster global unity remains to be seen. While a $495,000 (£388649.25) space dinner might seem like a fantasy for the ultra-wealthy few, it could be a stepping stone towards Elon Musk's ambitious vision of sending one million people to Mars.