Who would have thought that a space odyssey could begin with an announcement of a new rocket ride “thrill trip” venture and end up in an underwear collection?
Bare with me. This is one of those stories that resembles a John Cleese sketch. It starts off serious and then lurches into insanity, yet the topic, joy flights into space, is not only serious but is an activity that is the curtain raiser, (but also panty lowerer) to the era of mass space transportation.
The serious bit. Xtraordinary Adventures, a limited liability company with an address in Boca Raton, Florida, is muscling in on Virgin Galactic and Armadillo Aerospace in the rocket-ride business, which is where you pay $95,000-$200,000 to ride a rocket the edge of space, variously offered by the companies as being 61-111 kilometres above the earth, where you will also experience zero G for some minutes, and something like 4G at other stages, and possibly fear, terror, and on a bad day, incineration.
The risks aside, rocket rides are going to be a fantastic experience. You can die driving to work or catching a train, so get over it.
What is interesting, at least a first glance, about Xtraordinary Adventures is the flight profile. The Lynx spaceship offers a single passenger ride with a space attendant and a space pilot comprising the crew, in a vehicle that is a rocket with wings that takes off like a conventional aircraft, blasts itself upwards into a suborbital trajectory, and then makes a controlled gliding landing at the point of origin, conveniently close to Los Angeles, from the early next year, after “thorough testing”.
The Xtraordinary Lynch rocket ship
But then the “other” bits force themselves on those seeking a space odyssey rather than space oddities. The home page of Xtraordinary Adentures features offers to buy “items”.
Toys, games, hats, pins, and clothes.
Acting on a tip from a serious US space contact, who said Xraordinary and longer-established competitor Armadillo were probably selling more space underwear than rocket flights on a typical day, Crikey signed up for the former’s offers and checked out Armadillo, to discovered it had morphed big time into underwear retailing.
The site features dozens of items, including such things as the Armadillo space G string (above) in its intimate apparel section.
Search for more, and a whole page of lunar range underwear appears, (below) most in a more practicable shade of pitch black for those planning to wear them atop a rocket apart from a shocking pink line of ladies boy briefs.
Are we worried yet? The founder of Xtraordinary Adventures is described as: Mitchell J. Schultz, innovator, world traveller, visionary and recognised leader in the world of alternate finance, travel and media. He has also been active in charitable programs and fundraising for more than 40 years. Schultz is a certified space tourism specialist and graduate of Space Tourism University 2010.
The Space Tourism University turns out to be a study program offered by Rocketship Tours, which is the general sales agency of Schultz’s company Xtraordinary Adventures.
Houston! We have a problem.
(For serious space cadets, a more technical report on the Lynx rocket ride program will be posted on Crikey blog Plane Talking.)