Axiom Space Promises Space-Age Glamping 250 Miles Above Earth

axiom space station 2
Axiom Space/Facebook

Let’s be honest: Every die-hard traveler dreams of going to space. Considering that most nooks and crannies of our planet have been cataloged, photographed, and “selfied” with, the cosmos is literally the final, unexplored frontier. This month, one more company announced plans to take everyday folks into orbit, complete with designer hotel “rooms” and plenty of Wi-Fi to Instagram your journey. With the right disposable income, you can register for the Axiom Space program right now.

Thanks in large part to ambitious ventures by Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, the space tourism race has heated up considerably in recent years. But Axiom’s CEO, Mike Suffredini, is quick to point out that these competitors are only going to “the edge of space” rather than into orbit. They promise a brief 15 minutes of microgravity — enough time to snap a few Instagram shots of yourself in front of “the big blue marble” before heading back to reality. Axiom Space is marketing something altogether different with a far more intense, 12-day program.

The only requirements are that space travel hopefuls be at least 21 years old and capable of passing a standard physical exam. Provided you’re fit for travel, the real experience begins on terra firma with an intensive 15-week training program. Potential space travelers will head to Houston’s Johnson Space Center to train side-by-side with real-life astronauts. Station guests will need to demonstrate they can hold up to the rigors of space travel by, for example, spinning in a centrifuge and proving they don’t have a crippling fear of confined spaces.

To up the ante, Axiom brought famed designer, Philippe Starck, on board to craft a luxurious, low-orbit travel experience that’s equal parts boutique hotel, research station, and 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque art installation. In stark (get it?) contrast to the drab, utilitarian decor of most spacecraft, the one-of-a-kind Axiom station will feature cream-colored, suede-like walls and luminous LED lighting that shifts color automatically based on where the station is positioned above the earth. Add to that luxury onboard amenities like Wi-Fi (yes, really), satellite phone capability, and even proper showers (maybe) and the entire experience feels more like glamping. Can your experience really be considered “roughing it” if a world-renowned French designer hand-picked your room decor?

axiom space station 1
Axiom Space/Facebook

In 2024, Axiom Space Station is scheduled to replace the now-20-year-old International Space Station. Until it does, Axiom is working with the ISS to begin commercial trips to the existing station in 2020. It all starts with tourism, but the program will expand to include human spaceflight programs, research, manufacturing, exploration system demonstration (basically “proofs of concept” for deeper space travel and exploration), and outreach and advertising. The timeline seems ambitious and space-based initiatives have historically been delayed by years, even decades. However, Axiom Space is manned by 60 employees, most of whom previously worked for NASA and have hands-on experience working with the ISS. We imagine that, if anyone can get this program off the ground, they can.

Reservations aboard the Axiom Space Station are open now, assuming you have a cool $55 million lying around. If that’s too steep, early bird travelers can score a $5 million “discount” ticket if they book now. While both price tags include the full training experience, roundtrip transportation, and everything necessary to live aboard the station, we’re guessing there’ll still be a surcharge for Wi-Fi. There’s always a surcharge for Wi-FI.

Living

How Up-Cycled Warehouse Went From Abandoned Building to Stunning Home

Forget wooden pallets — Zen Architects took the upcycling trend to a whole new level with their conversion of this 1960s warehouse.
Culture

Pilot Kirby Chambliss Casually Raced Around Hot Air Balloons in the Desert and It was Awesome

"I had never really thought about aerobatics, but the first time I was upside down, I just thought 'This is so cool.'"
Auto

The All-New Ariel Atom 4 is a Civic Type R-Powered Rocket

The power-to-weight ratio of the 320-hp Atom 4 is just over four pounds per horsepower — about the same as the 710-hp McLaren 720S.
Grooming

This Small Electric Toothbrush Cleans Just as Good as Its Competitors

The best part? A subscription option means you'll never have to remember to purchase a replacement again.
Culture

Too Broke to Travel? Take a Virtual Vacation With This Summer Reading List.

These page-turners could be the inspiration for your next big vacation, but for now, settle into your couch.
Food & Drink

A Bitter Experiment: Why You Should Try Adding Bitters to an IPA

IPAs already have a strong reputation for being bitter, so why kick it up a notch and add cocktail bitters?
Living

Living Vehicle Is Redefining Our Idea of Mobile Homes

It’s not a true tiny house, it’s not quite an RV, and it’s unlike any mobile home we’ve ever seen.
Fashion & Style

Step Out in Style with the Best Men’s Shorts Arranged by Inseam Length

Short-shorts? Or below the knee? You choose. Just please don't choose below the knee.
Food & Drink

The Best Cheap Beer Money Can Buy

Some cultures may value spirits or wine or something else entirely, but at the end of the day, chances are you’re going to be able to find a cheap beer no matter where you go.
Food & Drink

The Ultimate Guide to Day Drinking

Day drinking is the true sport of kings. Learn how to take the crown and keep it. All day long.
Food & Drink

Japanese Whisky Royalty, Nikka From the Barrel, Is Finally Coming to the U.S.

Nikka is to Japanese whisky what Derek Jeter is to baseball and Scandinavia is to architecture.
Podcast

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Manual Grooming Awards 2018 Episode

Learn more about how we chose the winners of our first-ever Grooming Awards.
Living

You Definitely Need This Scottish Castle with a Pub, Treehouse, 32 Bedrooms, and 6 Cottages

You could be the proud owner of Ackergill Tower, a true Scottish estate that boasts a castle, 30 acres of land, Europe's largest treehouse, and its own pub.
Travel

Crash on Namibia’s Dramatic Skeleton Coast at the One-of-a-kind Shipwreck Lodge

The hotel is in a place so inhospitable that Portuguese sailors once called it “The Gates of Hell.”
Culture

The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals on Watches, Tools, Outdoor Gear, and Other Cool Stuff

Amazon Prime Day is finally here and we're rounding up the best sales and discounts we can find.
Travel

See Africa, Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea from the Gibraltar Skywalk

At 1,115 feet above sea level, the panoramic views are humbling, frightening, and beautiful.
Travel

Las Vegas’ Best New Bar is 55 Stories Above the Strip

A drink here should be a requirement for all Vegas trips moving forward.
Culture

Photography Tips for Beginners: Shoot Like a Pro By Thinking Like a Pro

Because skill will always trump camera gear — even the best gear.
Travel

Morpheus Hotel Is a Dreamlike Escape Designed by Zaha Hadid

It is the world’s first high-rise supported by a free-form steel exoskeleton.
Travel

5 Travel Flasks to Show the World What a Sophisticated Drinker You Are

Just because you fancy day drinking from a flask doesn’t mean you need to feel — or look — like the degenerate you are.
Travel

Historic Route 66 Is Under Threat, But You Can Help Save It

After decades of disuse, America's "Mother Road" is barely clinging to life. How do we bring it back from the brink?