Jonny Dodge Shares Four Steps to Prepare for Space Travel

Jonny Dodge LA Weekly

Space may be the final frontier, but it’s made in a billionaire’s basement. What was once a scientific spectacle is now the playground of wealthy people with the desire to experience all of life’s adventures.

The names daring to go where few have before are expanding to welcome a new golden age for space travel. One figure working within the growing space travel sector is the entrepreneur Jonny Dodge. For those with one toe outside the Earth’s atmosphere, he has outlined four crucial steps of preparation any would-be space traveler should be aware of:

1.    Have roughly $1m to invest

While galactic travel is becoming more accessible, affordability isn’t yet part of the deal. Broad perceptions around the kind of established millionaires who are booking up the first commercial space flights are accurate, at least for the time being.

“The first step is to have around a million dollars,” Dodge outlined. “It could be from half a million to a couple of million, just for a basic flight. For the top flights, you may need up to $60m to spend up to a week in space.”

2.    Understand the potential risks

“You can’t be scared about the risk profile of going to space,” Dodge went on. “It’s important to understand that space travel will never be as safe as commercial airline flights. There are a lot of safety measures in place, of course, but you are taking on a new frontier of flight with a wider margin for error.”

This second step is the first piece of psychological preparation advised before traveling into space. While wealthy individuals worldwide enjoy the privilege of financial freedom, something as uncharted as commercial space flight may not suit every millionaire’s tastes due to its perceived risk.

Preparing for risk additionally involves completing a medical examination. It’s a tangible but necessary step that ensures travelers are in sufficiently good shape to endure effects including zero gravity. While important, it doesn’t typically preclude participation on the scale of a military medical check.

3.   Experience zero gravity

The appeal of space flight is often centered around being part of an exclusive group who have seen the Earth from 100km in the air. But the movie-esque feeling of weightlessness is one of the unique elements of a commercial trip, at the end of which participants officially become astronauts. Becoming familiar with zero gravity is also an integral part of pre-flight preparation.

“Experiencing zero-Gs and feeling what it’s like to be weightless in advance is key to making the most of your trip into space,” Dodge said. “It’s a new and unique experience for a lot of people. When you get up into space, you don’t want to be disoriented and lost. You want to enjoy the experience. But most space flights aren’t too rigid—your nan can go into space!”

Zero-G training includes time in a jet or centrifuge to replicate the physical sensation of traversing the Kármán line, which defines the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. It’s at the point the line is crossed during a typical 16-minute flight that the atmosphere reduces and passengers become weightless.

4.   Launch from the flight site

“The final step before your space flight is to head over to the site you will launch from,” Dodge explained. “For example, with Blue Origin, you’ll go up in a rocket from a pad in West Texas. You’ll sit in a capsule on top of that rocket with six other people while propulsion comes from below.”

The participant then begins the million-dollar, 16-minute experience high in demand among the world’s wealthiest. Simple mathematics dictates a cost of $62,500 per minute or just over $1,000 a second. It’s the essence of exclusivity and the unparalleled humbling beauty of Planet Earth that maintains the allure of space travel as it opens up to the public. The steps to prepare, unlike the experience, are surprisingly grounded.

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