A new immersive experience will show Houstonians what it's like to be in space

Stay silent on this hour-long journey, organizers ask; you're about to experience Earth from afar.

The Infinite's world premiere took place in Montreal, where it opened in July 2021.

The Infinite's world premiere took place in Montreal, where it opened in July 2021.

Courtesy of The Infinite

What does it feel like to be in space? To lift off from the planet and launch into the galaxy? To put on a space suit and see Earth from afar?

Up until now, only a select few got to experience those sensations. Starting Dec. 20, that will change. “The Infinite,” an immersive installation inspired by NASA missions, is set to touch down at Sawyer Yards in Houston for its U.S. premiere.

Those who visit the 12,500-square-foot installation will step into a life-sized three-dimensional replica of the International Space Station (ISS), according to a press release. They’ll experience a multisensory reproduction of a liftoff and then get to explore the station and even take space walks.

“THE INFINITE” begins its full-scale run in January 2022.

“THE INFINITE” begins its full-scale run in January 2022.

Courtesy of The Infinite

The experience debuted in Montreal, Canada in July and was created by Infinity Experiences, a joint production of PHI Studio and Felix & Paul Studios. It is based on a three-year filming project on the ISS that collected more than 200 hours of footage, resulting in “Space Explorers: The ISS Experience,” a virtual reality series which recently took home an Emmy. The studios partnered with TIME Studios, NASA, the ISS U.S. National Lab and the Canadian Space Agency.

“The exploration of space and the unknown is an endless source of fascination to us,” said Felix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios and creative director of The Infinite, in the release. “We are thrilled to bring The Infinite to Houston — the global epicenter of human space exploration — to share this massive, fully immersive exhibition, and we look forward to virtually transporting thousands of people off the Earth to enjoy the joy and wonder of space with audiences in the U.S.”

“THE INFINITE” lands at Sawyer Yards on Dec. 20.

“THE INFINITE” lands at Sawyer Yards on Dec. 20.

Courtesy of The Infinite

The installation focuses not on space artifacts, but on the exclusive content shot in virtual reality from the ISS. There are some extra elements you won’t find on the actual space station that you will in The Infinite. The subtle scents of a forest waft through the exhibition, intended to call forth the visceral memory of lying on the grass while star gazing.

This U.S. debut of this immersive experience contains exclusive new footage that was shot just weeks ago — outside the ISS on Sept. 12.

“THE INFINITE,” a multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality experience transports visitors aboard the International Space Station, spans 12,500 square feet.

“THE INFINITE,” a multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality experience transports visitors aboard the International Space Station, spans 12,500 square feet.

Courtesy of The Infinite

Visitors get to take a 60-minute self-directed journey through an experience that involves interactivity between physical objects, virtual reality, multimedia art, soundscapes and light design. They’ll explore the space station and get to take a space walk.

The experience's designers also brought on Japanese visual and sound artist Ryoji Ikeda to create an installation for the show. The piece involves an LED ceiling and mirrored floor intended to inspire a sense of weightlessness in viewers, according to the experience website.

“THE INFINITE" includes virtual reality with the use of Oculus masks.

“THE INFINITE" includes virtual reality with the use of Oculus masks.

Courtesy of The Infinite

“Houston was the natural destination as the first U.S. city to host The Infinite, not only because of the city’s deep ties to NASA, but also because of its richly diverse population that supports a wide range of cultural offerings from world-class art museums to unique traveling experiences such as ours,” said Julie Tremblay, producer of The Infinite, in a release.

Tickets start at $29 for the soft opening Dec. 20. Prices increase to start at $36 as of Jan. 13 when the primary, full-scale limited engagement begins. Guests must wear masks, and children under the age of 8 are not allowed.

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