According to mid-century science fiction, humans should be taking regular vacations to outer space by now. And while these visions certainty haven’t come to pass at a Jetsons-style level, if you can wait two more years, Axiom Space promises to make that a reality—for travelers with deep enough pockets, of course. This week, the Houston-based company announced that beginning in 2020, it will offer 10-day missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and, ultimately, aboard a separate Axiom commercial space station, complete with habitation modules designed by Philippe Starck.
Adventurous travelers with $55 million to spare (and who are over 21 and have also passed a medical fitness exam) will enjoy 15 weeks of training to prep them for launch, then ten days of “living” in space, complete with custom-crafted meals, daily activities, a private designer sleeping pod, and Wi-Fi—a must for posting photos and videos that only one in 13 million people alive today have had the opportunity to take. The launches will be able to take place all year-round, and voyagers yearning for more can upgrade to a 60-day mission (for an extra $25 million).
The race to launch earthlings into the great unknown has been heating up in the last several years, with commercial space travel in development by well-known names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson, as well as companies like Orion Span already taking reservations for a space hotel set to launch in 2021. But while many of the other ventures will take passengers to the edge of space, Axiom will be the first to actually take them into orbit. That, and an agreement with NASA to access the ISS, are just some of what Axiom co-founder, CEO, and President, Michael Suffredini, says differentiates his company from others in the space race—and what allows them to open up a whole galaxy of possibilities.