09 April 2018 News

Plans for first-ever luxury space hotel unveiled

An artists conception of the Aurora Station. Image: Orion Span
An artists conception of the Aurora Station. Image: Orion Span

If the Serengeti is no longer a wild enough destination for your holiday adventures, then perhaps a stay in the first-ever luxury space hotel should be on your agenda instead.

Unveiled at the recent Space 2.0 summit in San Jose, California, the Aurora Station is the vision of Orion Span; a privately funded space entrepreneurial company who are promising space tourists the opportunity to immerse themselves in a virtual reality experience on their holodeck, participate in real space research, or simply to enjoy the views from their own private suite onboard the station, as it circles the planet 200 miles above the Earth’s surface.

How much will this out-of-this-world experience cost? Although the company’s mission is “to bring down the cost of visiting and living in space by orders of magnitude,” for a 12 day stay on the station, it will still cost a pricey sum of $9.5 million dollars per person, or $19 million for two.

The space suites fit two people so you and your significant other can become one of the first people to receive the prestigious Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) when you complete your stay aboard the Aurora. The price tag is an all inclusive figure (flights are included) and if you have the cash, fully refundable deposits of $80,000 are now being accepted.

And, as the company plans to launch the station in 2021 and host its first guests in 2022, you shouldn’t have to wait too long before experiencing the exhilaration of zero gravity while seeing numerous sunrises and sunsets, as Aurora completes an orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes.

“We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space. Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travellers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience,” said Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span.

This exclusive holiday destination will host up to six people at a time – including two crew members – on the modular space station, but it is not all about frivolities and superior views, as the company envisage that Aurora will have multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel.

“We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost – and only pay for what they use. We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing,” Bunger said. “Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth.”

Roughly translated that means Orion Span could be the first property development company operating in space as it plans to sell dedicated modules on the station, where future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo.

The station, which is being built by Orion Span, will be about the size of a large private jet's cabin and will measure 13.3 by 4.3 metres wide (43.5 feet by 14.1 feet), somewhat shorter than the ISS at 109 metres (357 feet) long. However, when Aurora reaches capacity, Orion plan to extend the station by simply launching another station/pod and attaching it onto Aurora's radial hub to add extra room.

So, if you want to photograph your hometown from space or participate in work that directly contributes to humanity's destiny in the stars, for example, by growing food fit for self-sustaining space colonies, then the future awaits you.

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