Titusville, FL – Orbite, a pioneering space travel venture, is ready to embark on an ambitious journey, bringing private-sector astronaut training to Florida’s Space Coast.
Initially founded in Seattle and tested in France and Florida, the company’s announcement marks a significant stride in space tourism and training.
CEO Jason Andrews revealed that Orbite is now accepting refundable deposits from prospective customers. The first 500 registrants will enjoy unique astronaut-like experiences even before the official programs commence.
These experiences include a rocket-launch watch party in Florida next spring and potentially an underwater adventure in the Florida Keys and a trip to Antarctica.
The heart of Orbite’s operation will be its Astronaut Training and Spaceflight Gateway Campus, designed by French industrial designer Phillippe Starck.
Set to open in 2026, the campus’s location, strategically placed around Florida’s Space Coast and Orlando, remains undisclosed due to ongoing business negotiations.
Orbite (pronounced “or-beet” in French) was co-founded in 2019 by Andrews, a former CEO of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, and Nicolas Gaume, a French-born tech entrepreneur and Microsoft employee. The company aims to familiarize aspirant space travelers with the space marketplace and offer Earth-based space experiences.
The venture tested its model in 2021 through three-day orientation sessions that combined zero-G and high-G airplane flights, classroom sessions, and space-related extracurricular activities. These sessions, using virtual reality simulations, introduced participants to various spaceflight providers like Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Axiom Space, and SpaceX.
Orbite’s training programs are tiered, catering to various interests and professional requirements in the spaceflight market. The entry-level course, a four-night orientation, costs $29,500, with the more advanced five-night suborbital training program starting at $49,500. Orbital training programs, more tailored and variable in price, start at around $400,000.
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In addition to training, Orbite plans to facilitate commercial space tours, similar to Spaceflight Industries’ approach in satellite launches. This service will recommend and assist clients in purchasing tickets from spaceflight providers like Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX.
Orbite’s services aren’t limited to spacefliers alone. “It’s the adventure of a lifetime for the family,” Andrews said, indicating that family and friends of space travelers can also partake in the training and experience.
While acknowledging the challenges of pioneering in a nascent industry, Andrews remains optimistic. He draws parallels with the early days of Spaceflight Industries, emphasizing the journey and progress made in building a new sector from scratch.
Orbite’s venture on the Space Coast signifies not just a leap in space tourism but also highlights the area’s growing prominence as a hub for space-related activities and innovations. The development promises to provide local residents and visitors alike with unprecedented opportunities to experience and engage with the final frontier.