French company Orbite has announced that renowned creator Philippe Starck will be designing its civilian Astronaut Training Complex in the US. Jenny Southan reports

Space experience company Orbite is expanding its civilian astronaut training offering with a new state-of-the-art facility designed by Philippe Starck in an as-yet undisclosed location in the US.

(Last year, Starck was also invited to design the futuristic interiors of the “habitation modules” of the Axiom Space Station.)

The revolutionary facility will reimagine preparation for the human spaceflight experience and provide “everyday cosmonauts” with the tools and training needed to maximize the impact and enjoyment of their journey.

The complex will include cutting-edge training spaces and equipment, the highest level of amenities for extended training and pre-mission quarantine, and other immersive experiences for individuals to learn more about and prepare for space travel. 

The development of the Astronaut Training and Spaceflight Gateway Complex enables Orbite to deliver on its core mission of holistically preparing individuals to experience and explore space safely. (You can read more about its space training programmes here.)

“While other companies are focused on building space transportation systems, Orbite’s role is to train and equip the next generation of commercial space explorers – people leaving this planet for pleasure or profession,” says Jason Andrews, co-founder of Orbite.

“We are uniquely combining 50 years of NASA expertise in human spaceflight training with state-of-the-art technology and architecture to create a spaceflight gateway for the 21st century.”

Nicolas Gaume, co-founder of Orbite, adds: “Philippe Starck’s defining vision, inspiring creativity and innovation, elevated by a deep sense of functionality and a unique attention to details will make our guests’ experience spectacular and transformative.

“Philippe Starck shares our goal to celebrate the marvel, beauty and fragility of our planet and how space must play its part in the future of the Earth.”

Led by Philippe Starck, the Astronaut Training and Spaceflight Gateway Complex’s architectural designs blend functionality and innovation, offering guests both one-of-a-kind accommodations and progressive, practical instruction spaces to prepare guests mentally, physically and spiritually for their off-world adventure. 

Additionally, Orbite has commissioned Philippe Starck to create a sustainable facility. The Astronaut Gateway Complex will serve as the last Earth habitat for many who venture into space.

As such, Orbite and Philippe Stark are committed to creating a facility that not only minimizes its impact on the Earth, but also celebrates the marvel, beauty and fragility of the planet.

Starck says: “Space is the future. With the Astronaut Training and Spaceflight Gateway Complex, I am honored to be able to give individuals rare educational opportunities to step into astronauts’ shoes and prepare for thrilling orbits in space.

“This is an inspiring and groundbreaking project with the highest vision, and I am delighted to be collaborating with Orbite on this one-of-a-kind project that is advancing the opportunities for civilization to encounter the wonders of space and celebrate the uniqueness of Earth.”

Earlier this year, Orbite successfully hosted its first signature space training program: Astronaut Orientation. The three-day, four-night experience was designed to prepare guests to maximize enjoyment and safety for a once-in-a-lifetime space journey. 

In the coming months, Orbite is hosting a US-based training that will expose trainees to different mission profiles through microgravity and high-G flight training, up-close tours of space facilities, and immersive virtual reality experiences of actual commercial space missions. 

Orbite plans to continue hosting trainings at the Astronaut Training and Spaceflight Gateway Complex once it is complete.

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