First you will be surprised to learn that your flight from LAX to London Space Pad will be only 2.5 hours. It might have been shorter, but, at $15,000 per ticket the company has designed the flight experience to make sure all 33 passengers (nicknamed “Angels”) feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed during interspace travel, but pre-flight service back at SpaceXPort has five-star meals and wholesome vegan snacks, symbolizing the best foodstuff planet Earth has to offer. A monoglide transports you to the SpaceX pad and your SpaceXCraft. Onboard, the concierge guides you to a space-ready reclining chaise that suggests poolside in Cabo rather than slow-scale First Class airline seating.
Instead of cocktails, space passengers receive an oxygen mask that feeds an extra boost of Element O oxygen that attenuates your senses, to help enhance your supra-atmospheric inflight experience. It’s a good high. You will be going outside the Earth’s atmosphere where you will witness things only a handful of human beings (also known as astronauts) have seen. Turn up your attention span. This will be a 2.5 hour flight after which Angels get their wings.
The pressurized hatch doors close and a sonic ping announces the beginning of flight procedures. Preflight instructions are delivered via holograms that appear spontaneously in front of each passenger. The hologram image is a sharp oxide blue and displays an animated white flight trail that begins in Los Angeles and circles the Earth until it exits Earth’s atmosphere. Then the holo shows a mathematical formula for re-entry displayed next to an image of the SpaceX craft.
Pilots on this space shuttle wear oxide blue uniforms and are known to one another as “drifters” because of the way the SpaceX vehicle intentionally drifts through space to reach its re-entry point into Earth’s atmosphere. Once the SpaceX craft reaches its mark, the hologram holomath formula dissolves and the animation resumes with the SpaceX craft plunging through Earth’s atmosphere and landing safely on the London SpaceX Pad.
The SpaceX L.A. to London express is at least three times faster than ordinary private jets or airline travel. This makes it not only more Hollywood but more efficient. And the buzzworthy experience of traveling amidst the stars cannot be underestimated.
A roar shatters the tranquility suggested by the hologram which quickly dissolves into thinner air. SpaceX passengers feel mild compression as their craft lifts off, slowly at first and then at velocity. If they could look below, passengers would see that Earth is rapidly disappearing ten then twenty and suddenly 50,000 feet below them. Within minutes they reach an altitude of 10,000 kilometers above Earth and surrender themselves from the tug of its gravity. You are now in orbit and will experience weightlessness.
The SpaceCanopy glides open to reveal the universe darkly. This experience alone is worth the price of admission because, unlike peering at the planets through a telescope lens and the screen of Earth’s polluted atmosphere — you find yourself immersed in the universe itself. The SpaceX unit slowly rotates in space giving everyone a 360-degree view of the outer limits. Sleep is an option (instead of counting sheep, count stars); so is listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson point out galaxies far far away. Cliches come easy but words alone cannot imagine this out of this world experience: let’s just say indescribably delicious eye candy.
A new hologram pops up that displays how our gigantic sun dwarfs the planets that orbit it, then the hologram zooms in to tiny Earth and the spacecraft as dust mote.
Like a roller coaster ride, the experience is over just as you start to feel comfortable. The space canopy slides shut, shielding passengers from the heat of re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Holograms reappear in front of you, as the BBC provides passengers with re-entry instructions and introduces them to London current events. It seems that London is drizzling rain. You can make reservations at The Ivy. Yes, your driver is waiting for you. Be sure to grab a complimentary SpaceX umbrella when you land Earth-side.
It has taken over 50 years for scientists and engineers to perfect space surfing to the point of orbiting just beyond Earth’s atmosphere and reentering safely with pinpoint accuracy. Soon, this exotic business trip — or vacation thrill — will become ordinary movement. And, inevitably, your luggage will be lost in space.
NOTE: This SpaceX flight is science fiction unauthorized and unsupported by SpaceX, Virgin Galactic or Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is (almost) entirely the author’s imaginings. Travel safe.