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Fly me to the moon, or supermoon, as Sinatra had sung. And that's happening, folks.
Qantas Airlines plans to take a limited number of passenger for a stunning one-off flight that will offer the best view of the rare supermoon along with the total lunar eclipse that is set to occur on May 26.
Not surprisingly, all tickets are sold out, and even the waitlist is closed.
This “flight to nowhere” is scheduled to take off from Sydney, Australia, for a two and a half-hour sojourn through the scenic southern night sky.
Earlier this week, Qantas Airlines announced a special flight to view the second and final supermoon of 2021 and the total lunar eclipse that is occurring on Wednesday, May 26. This flight will give the best possible view of the event on board from their Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Out of this world! Limited tickets go on sale at 12pm AEST for our supermoon scenic flight on May 26. You're guaranteed a super view of the #supermoon and full lunar eclipse double phenomenon.— Qantas (@Qantas) May 11, 2021
For more information and to book visit https://t.co/cIhOi7qSpG pic.twitter.com/plmpYDphNf
The tickets for the supermoon flight were highly anticipated by many. As soon as the online ticket portal was open, all the tickets were sold out within two-and-a-half minutes.
They were priced at AUD 499 (approx Rs 28,300) for an economy seat, AUD 899 (approx Rs 51,000) for a premium economy-class seat and AUD 1,499 (approx. Rs 85,000) for a business-class seat.
According to the Qantas website, the passengers on board will be served “cosmic cocktails” and “supermoon cakes”. All those aboard on the scenic Dreamliner flight will also get to enjoy the in-flight commentary by Vanessa Moss, an astronomer from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). That’s not all, as passengers will also get exclusive merchandise, gift bags and a commemorative certificate.
After taking off from Sydney, the flight will climb to a cruising altitude of 40,000ft to 43,000ft well above the cloud cover over the Pacific Ocean, away from any light pollution to catch the supermoon with the lunar eclipse, which is a “highly unusual double act”. Qantas pilots worked together with the CSIRO to map out an optimal path over the Pacific Ocean to witness the event in all its glory.
“That moon is 2,40,000 miles (3,84,000km) away, but we’ll be about 12km closer to it, at about 40,000 feet,” said Captain Alex Passerini, Qantas’ 787 fleets technical manager who will be piloting the special flight.
Supermoons occur when the moon is slightly closer to the Earth. According to NASA, on May 26, the moon will pass through Earth’s shadow for several hours, which will give the moon a reddish colour. This will be the second and final supermoon of 2021 after the “pink” supermoon of April 27. There is also an added event of the lunar eclipse which makes it a rare double phenomenon.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Qantas has asked passengers to defer their travel plans if they are sick and has COVID-19 symptoms. Apart from that, Qantas has introduced several measures to ensure a safe experience for passengers. All crew and passengers will wear masks throughout the entire duration of the flight.
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