The rich are planning to leave this wretched planet

In an era in which privileged individuals search constantly for the next experience to obsess over and post about on social media, space truly remains the final frontier, a luxury that only the one percent of the one percent can afford. Brad Pitt and Katy Perry are among those who have reportedly plunked down $250,000 for a ride on one of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceships, undaunted by a 2014 test flight that crashed and killed one pilot.

Now a company called Axiom Space is giving those with piles of money and an adventuresome spirit something new to lust after: the prospect of an eight-day trip to space that is plush, if not entirely comfortable, and with a bit of the luster of NASA as well.

Circumambulating the floor of his gray carpeted office on a recent Wednesday, Mike Suffredini — NASA veteran, Houston native and the chief executive officer of Axiom Space — stopped in front of a cardboard compartment about as big as a telephone booth.

“It’s no New York hotel room,” he said with a shrug, as if apologizing for its size.

“It pretty much is, actually!” said Gabrielle Rein, Axiom’s marketing director.