Launched this month, Stellar Frontiers is the UK’s first space mission management company dedicated to meaningful human spaceflight and astronaut training. Jenny Southan reports
After successful crewed flights with space tourism companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin this summer, Stellar Frontiers has become the UK’s first “space mission management company”.
What does this mean? The company says it intends to “take the complexities out of human spaceflight, facilitating purposeful space missions for private citizens and organisations, arranging astronaut training, and supporting the UK space sector”.
Stellar Frontiers will work exclusively with clients seeking to “positively impact planet Earth whether that be through scientific research, philanthropic advancements or educative intent and all astronauts will undergo a personalised mission planning programme, to focus in on their missions’ purpose”.
With a background in military-precision expedition planning, the team is well-equipped to support clients in taking the first step towards human spaceflight. From logistics to training, Stellar Frontiers manages all elements to ensure that travellers are fully prepared to complete their mission safely.
The team works with commercial spaceflight companies to arrange private citizen space exploration tailored to each individual’s needs, connecting travellers to the right launch provider and spacecraft or even pairing them with other astronauts co-ordinate multi-client missions.
Human spaceflight can take many forms, from entering low earth orbit to spending ten days on Axiom Space Station or the International Space Station (ISS).
The latter includes conducting laboratory-based critical research, micro-gravity experimentation and technology demonstrations and, with only a handful of private citizens having visited the ISS to date and with the possibility that it will be deorbited in 2027/28, this will be a rare and life-changing journey.
Stellar Frontiers can also arrange for clients to experience a space walk from the ISS, something no private citizen has ever done before. For this, astronauts require an additional month of training, much of which is carried out in a Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory alongside virtual reality simulations.
The ultimate space tourism trip is a circumlunar mission, says Stellar Frontiers. “Not only is it utterly unique, but also offers travellers the chance to significantly benefit human civilisation by gathering scientific data, developing space travel technologies and engaging and inspiring the high-tech workforce of tomorrow. So much is yet to be discovered and lunar missions are fundamental in furthering our knowledge of the solar system, the universe and of our own planet.”
Geordie Mackay-Lewis, who is CEO of Stellar Frontiers and also the founder of adventure travel company Pelorus, says: “Stellar Frontiers has been created with a mission to support meaningful and transformative journeys into space that will change private astronauts’ perspective on the world around them.
“All who return from these life-altering explorations, have gone on to dedicate their time to doing good here on earth. We want to enable clients with great intentions to experience human spaceflight, and then return to change the world for the better.”
Closer to home, Stellar Frontiers arranges a number of different on-Earth experiences for preparation of spaceflight; from a three-day Astronaut Orientation experience, which provides the gateway to human spaceflight, to an intensive astronaut training programme at Star City in Russia lasting between three and six months.
The former is run in partnership with Orbite (Pelorus partnered with this company earlier this year) to support basic training with a wealth of highly exclusive experiences. This includes inspiring meetings with astronauts, space food designed by a Michelin Starred team and nights spent stargazing alongside astronomers, as well as a zero-gravity flight onboard a AirZeroG Aircraft and a high G experience.
Taking the next step towards spaceflight, Stellar Frontiers arranges astronaut development training in Russia, managing the entire process including the rigorous medical screening that every astronaut has to complete.
In addition to these consumer ventures, Stellar Frontiers is also a full-service payload and satellite launch solutions provider for organizations looking to help the planet through scientific research, offering rideshare opportunities or a dedicated launch, all planned to precision.