This article is part of STYLE’s Luxury Column. True luxury is always extreme. Extreme rarity. Extreme dedication. Extreme craftsmanship. And extreme experiences. To the point where a true luxury experience can be called a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How to put the ‘luxury’ in luxury hotel ... hint: it's not about fluffy towels In the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of intercontinental flights made a trip from New York to London or Paris to Shanghai such a special occurrence, especially in first class. But with the commoditisation of air travel, low-cost carriers on short haul and long haul routes, with even the furthest places on Earth just a few hours away, flying has lost its magic to a large extent. It’s therefore not surprising that space is becoming the next frontier in luxury, with the billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson competing in the exploration of space . Before embarking on his historic space flight last weekend, Branson stated on his Instagram page: “My mission statement is to turn the dream of space travel into a reality.” Musk’s SpaceX took a crew up to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020 with its Dragon spacecraft. The flight was part of a larger mission to ultimately take humans to Mars. Elon Musk at 50: outspoken and outrageously rich Not surprisingly, the spacecraft was not only a functional marvel, Musk also revolutionised the piloting interface, making it resemble a Tesla Model S interior more than a traditional spaceship. Of course, spacesuits add in an element of fashion too, signalling that a new, “luxurious” era of space travel has begun. Is this the sexiest car conversion ever? Branson’s Virgin Galactic has now made the first successful tourist flight into space, with Richard Branson as “Astronaut 001”. That includes the company building an impressive spaceport: “Spread across 27 square miles [70 sq km], Spaceport America is our centre of flight operations, and the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport,” the company stated. Different to a traditional rocket, Virgin’s spacecraft is attached to a mother ship and detaches at about 15,240 metres (50,000 feet) for the final climb into space. Why Bugatti’s sale marks the end of petrol cars This approach allows for an efficient and smooth experience, opening up space travel as the ultimate luxury experience at prices starting at about US$250,000. After the first successful space flight, The New York Times estimates there are 600 reservation holders from almost 60 countries on the waiting list, underscoring the appeal of the new luxury experience. Each of the upcoming astronaut tourists will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, observing Earth from space and feeling weightless. Experiences impossible to have on Earth. With Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin joining the companies offering space travel on July 20, it will only be a question of time before this luxury becomes available to a broader audience. For now though, space is the next extreme frontier of luxury. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .