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.