Qantas Airlines will take a limited number of passengers on a flight that will offer the best view of this month’s rare supermoon as well as a total lunar eclipse on May 26. However, if you are hoping to be on that flight, you’re already out of luck — the tickets have been sold and even the waitlist is closed. This one-off supermoon scenic flight will take off from Sydney, Australia, for a two-and-a-half-hour sojourn through the southern sky. Those onboard the B787 Dreamliner will be served “cosmic cocktails” and “supermoon cakes.” This will be the second and final supermoon of 2021.

Tickets for the supermoon flight started at AUD 499 (roughly Rs. 28,300) for an economy seat, while the business class was on sale for AUD 1,499 (roughly Rs. 85,000). For the premium economy class, the ticket price was AUD 899 (roughly Rs. 51,000) each.

According to the Qantas website, apart from the inflight cocktails and cakes on the menu, those aboard the Dreamliner flight will enjoy inflight commentary by expert Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) astronomer, Vanessa Moss. Passengers will also be given exclusive merchandise, gift bags, and a commemorative certificate.

After taking off from Sydney, the flight will climb well above any cloud cover over the Pacific Ocean, and away from any kind of light pollution. It will cruise at an altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 metres) and will be “followed by a viewing of the rising of the supermoon, which also happens to be a total lunar eclipse, a highly unusual double act.”

NASA states that on May 26, over several hours, “the Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, causing it to darken and usually become reddish in colour.” The space agency adds that the red colour is a result of the sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere — “a ring of light created by all the sunrises and sunsets happening around our planet at that time.”

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Qantas has asked passengers to defer their travel plans if they were “feeling unwell and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in the week leading up to your flight.” That apart, Qantas has introduced a range of measures to ensure a safe environment onboard. All passengers and crew will be required to wear a mask during the entire duration of the flight.

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