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Orbite offers a taste of space — and earthly luxury

Wanna take a ride to space? There’s a smorgasbord of spaceflight shaping up for paying customers, ranging from the suborbital tours planned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to the orbital trips offered by SpaceX. What will those rides be like, and how will they differ from each other?

Starting in August, a Seattle-based startup called Orbite (pronounced “Or-beet,” French-style) will offer three-day orientation sessions to let customers sample the astronaut experience and find out for themselves.

“We’ll give them a ‘try before you buy’ experience, and educate them on the different offerings that are out there,” Orbite co-founder and CEO Jason Andrews, a veteran of Seattle’s Spaceflight Industries, told GeekWire.

Andrews and Orbite’s other co-founder, French-born tech entrepreneur Nicolas Gaume, have set the schedule for astronaut orientation courses that’ll include virtual-reality simulations, a zero-G flight and a high-G flight — all designed to provide a taste of space without tying the participant down to a particular program.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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