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Watch: By 2022, a few of us may be packing our bags and heading to this hotel in outer space

Orion Span is planning to launch the world’s first luxury space hotel by 2021.

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Just four years from now, humans may be heading to outer space for family vacations or romantic getaways. At least that’s what space technology start-up Orion Span has in mind.

On April 5, the Houston-based start-up announced Aurora Station, the world’s first luxury space hotel in orbit 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. The company plans to launch the hotel in 2021, and start accommodating guests in 2022. Might as well start planning now.

As the video above shows, the hotel is roughly the size of a large private jet cabin, accommodating six people at a time, including two crew members who will probably be former astronauts. The website claims there will be private suites for two, “the most number of windows ever created for spaceflight”, zero-gravity adventures and “the world’s only authentic astronaut experience.”

Obviously there’s a catch. The 12-day trip comes at the hefty sum of $9.5-million per person. To secure a spot on the waitlist, all you need to do is put down a fully refundable deposit of $80,000.

Orion Span plans to have Aurora Station orbit the earth every 90 minutes, which means travellers will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, and some impressive aurora borealis. And though 12 days in space may sound like an idle trip, guests will be made to take part in research experiments such as growing food in orbit. Of course, not just anybody can go and live in zero-gravity – a three-month Orion Space Astronaut Certification is required before take-off.

According to Space.com, Orion Span is building the space hotel and developing the software with the help of engineers who have helped design and operate the International Space Station. They also plan to keep expanding the hotel by adding modules to the original core outpost. The ultimate aim of the start-up is to create “space condos” and a long-term, sustainable human habitation in space.

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What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

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The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.