07 April, 2018, 00:13 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
A startup called Orion Span says it's planning to open a luxury hotel in orbit in 2022, but a lot of the details have yet to be filled in. Deposits are now being accepted for a future stay on Aurora Station, which is slated to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022.
And the hotel will house six people at any one time, including two crew and four guests.
Sounds wonderful, right? But wait, it would cost a whopping Rs 61,74,52,500 ($9.5 million) per person to stay at Aurora Station.
Guests will need to complete a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification program, the first part of which is done online, followed by an in-person training facility in Texas. "Our goal is to make space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at lower cost".
The hotel will operate about 200 miles above Earth in what is called Low Earth Orbit.
Orion Span will also be in charge of building the space hotel, and the company will hire some of the engineers who had a hand in operating and designing the ISS.
As for the trip itself - pricing starts at $9.5m (£6.8m), though Orion Span said this is "far below what others have paid to go to space", and it's all inclusive.
"We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space".
The Houston-based company is accepting $80,000 per person deposits for a spot on its first waitlist. "Lastly, when the guests return home to Earth, we're going to treat them to a hero's welcome".
"Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel", Bunger added. Thursday, during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California, Orion Span introduced its space hotel, Aurora Station, and announced that it is officially open for reservations. "We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing", said Bunger. Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth.
Frank Bunger, the company's founder and CEO, explained that the space hotel would be simpler and more modular while at the same time more automated so spacewalks or extravehicular activities will no longer be necessary. They will literally be the first condos in space! It will have dimensions of 13.3 by 4.3 metres, the total volume will be about 160 cubic meters. We will later sell dedicated modules as the world's first condominiums in space.
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If everything goes well, the Aurora will grow larger as time goes on: more modules can be added on later to expand its offerings, which are now planned to include station-grown food and (we're not joking) a freaking holodeck.
Orion Span isn't alone in seeking to carve out this path.
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