Space has always fascinated the people here on Earth, maybe it’s the scientists, the space agencies or the common people. Many private space agencies are targeting to commercialize space either making it a marketing hub or making it a tourist spot. Recently, a space start-up called Orion Span announced that they will launch a luxury space hotel to space by the year 2021 and the guests will start arriving at the space hotel in 2022.
Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger, said, “We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel.” The name of the luxury space hotel is Aurora Station and the idea of establishing it in space was unveiled on April 5 at Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. Aurora Station is the first fully modular space station and luxury space hotel. Six people can stay inside the Aurora Station at a time which will include two crew members.
According to Orion Span, a 12-day stay aboard Aurora Station will start at $9.5 million. Although this is a huge amount, still it is affordable considering the fact that previous tourist flight to International Space Station cost between $20 million to $40 million. Bunger said that they have made their best innovations to make the Aurora Station more modular, more automated and simpler to use and hence, they have not included the EVAs (Extravehicular activities) or spacewalks. According to Bunger, guests residing in Aurora Station will orbit at 200 miles above the Earth’s surface and experience zero gravity all the time. Hence, they all will feel like astronauts.
Bunger further said, along with providing space stay to tourists, they will also be doing real space research like growing food in space in the Aurora Station. The tourists will take the food grown on space back to Earth as a souvenir. Bunger said, “We will have a virtual reality experience, what we call the holodeck, named after Star Trek. Lastly, when the guests return home to Earth, we’re going to treat them to a hero’s welcome.” Bunger informed that Aurora Station will be exclusively built by Orion Span. At present, the hotel is being manufactured at Houston and the software needed to operate is being developed in the Bay Area. The Aurora Station will be 43.5 feet long and 14.1 feet wide and will have a pressurized volume of 5, 650 cubic feet.