Space, the final frontier. Or at least a new – and rather topical – one, when it comes to tourism. As Branson, Bezos and Musk all try to outdo each other on the passenger space race … pioneering, perspective-alteringbespoke experience designer Pelorus is following suit and getting ahead of the space game via the Pelorus Astronaut Orientation experience to prepare intrepid explorers to boldly go where only eccentric billionaires have gone before.
Ironically, at a time when much of the world is still find it challenging to travel to a neighbouring country, brands like Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX are hogging the tourism headlines, offering a bright (and evidently quicker, higher and more technologically advanced) hope of a future where going to the edge of space and beyond will become a reality for OutThere travellers.
We have long been in awe of companies like Space Adventures who have created incredible expedition products for high-net-worth individuals with their heads in the clouds. The company promises out-of-this-world visits to the international space station and spacewalks 400km above the earth, by 2023 … with guests already booked in and in training. But naturally, this surpasses tourism as we know it: the commitment – both in time and financial – is significant; you are actually training to become a fully-fledged astronaut, albeit a commercial one.
Experience-maker Pelorus has launched (yes, pun intended) a first of its kind (in the UK) alternative. Always one for extraordinary adventures, you may easily think that interplanetary travel is already a thing for them. Should you browse their website, you’ll see sublime adventure videos of travellers traversing lunar-like landscapes and chasing the very best views of the Aurora Borealis. But in preparation for making off-earth itineraries a reality, the brand now offers the Pelorus Astronaut Orientation experience for its guests.
Positioned as a ‘guide to suborbital and orbital spaceflight’ this four-night programme developed in partnership with space-training specialists Orbite, is a taster of what’s to come. It aims to prepare future space explorers for the physical and mental exertions of travelling up to the Kármán line and beyond, including microgravity and high-G flight exposure training.
The space program also provides unique access to astronaut guest speakers and space experts from ESA and NASA; as well as some exclusive space-themed experiences. While lunching on a space-food tasting menu by the Michelin star Alain Ducasse team, you’ll dine alongside astronauts and leaders of the Centre national d’études spatiales. And of course, you can expect some serious stargazing too, with the centre’s astronomer … all of which are luxurious ways to ease budding astronauts into what lies ahead.
Over the following days, the Pelorus astronaut training begins. Without giving too much away, it features a parabolic flight where guests will feel weightlessness for seven minutes through free fall. It’s said to be a feeling, unlike anything we know on earth. Every motion becomes effortless, the slightest push will catapult you forward and objects provided by the team will float around. And if you are a person that suffers from chronic backache or pain caused by the stresses of gravity, those will disappear for the moment. It’s undoubtedly a jubilant feeling, as you will have probably seen in the video from the moment Virgin Galactic achieved zero gravity. In the sky, there will also be high-G coaching with an ESA astronaut and military combat pilot, to acclimatise you for the rigours of space travel.
Each budding Pelorus astronaut can choose between a launchpad of Acquitane in France or Orlando, Florida in the USA. We love the idea, especially as actual space flight may be out of our own reach for a while yet. At a cost of around just GBP£22,000/$30,000 per person (based on two sharing at a nearby luxury hotel), it’s a unique and personalised experience – perfect for a post-lockdown milestone celebration – especially as each programme is limited to just ten guests. So lest to say, we’re sold. Beam us up!