Get ready for the next frontier in the hotel industry as Orion Span announces the Aurora Station, the first hotel in space.
“We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel,” said founder and CEO Frank Bunger, who unveiled the Aurora Station idea on 5 April at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.
The fully modular space station will orbit at 200 miles above the earth’s surface offering a zero-gravity experience. It will revolve around the earth every 90 minutes and guests aboard will see 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
On a 12-day journey, six people can stay in the hotel that comes with locally-grown food (in space), a souvenir, a virtual reality experience in a holodeck named after Star Trek, before receiving a hero’s welcome as the guests return to earth.
By now, you must have guessed that the accommodation will cost an arm and a leg – and you’re right. A 12-day stay at the Aurora Station will set you back a cool US$9.5 million (per person). But even that seems a bargain compared to the orbital tourism trips that took place between 2001 and 2009, where extraterrestrial holidaymakers paid between $20 million to $40 million.
“The goal when we started the company was to create that innovation to make simplicity possible, and by making simplicity possible, we drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it,” Bunger added.
However, having the money simply isn’t enough to get on board the Aurora. Private citizens who want a ticket must undergo a month-long online course, followed by 4-6 weeks of training in Houston, Texas, and a training course on the Aurora Station.
Currently, mankind is in the early days of space flight commercialisation. Aside from Orion Span, companies like Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Axiom Space and Bigelow Aerospace are also working to blast tourists into outer space.
“The wait list opened 5 April, and I’m optimistic it will get filled quickly,” said Bunger. “There is a lot of excitement around space right now, and it’s just the beginning of this industry.”
The launch of Aurora Station is scheduled in 2021 and accommodation starts officially in 2022.