Fly In Zero Gravity, Experience 16 Sunsets, And See The Aurora Up Close Aboard This Luxury Space Hotel
Have you ever dreamt of seeing the vast ocean of stars, of looking down at the Earth like you would at a globe, of experiencing the eery silence of space? A night or maybe twelve nights in a luxurious space hotel is what you might just want.
Space technology company Orion Span has just announced that they are about to debut the first ever fully modular space station that will let civilians fly to space and spend some time appreciating the vastness of the universe. Called the Aurora Station, the luxury space hotel will be able to host six travelers (plus 2 crew members), who will experience what it’s like to be an astronaut floating around in zero gravity.
The guests will be able to spend a 12-day journey aboard the Aurora Station and fly freely around the station as they appreciate the northern and southern Aurora, and take breathtaking views of the Earth 200 miles from the surface. And since the Aurora Station orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, guests will get to witness around 16 sunrises and sunsets in 24 hours. How surreal can that be?
On top of the astounding views and the top-class accommodation, guests will also be able to take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit, contact family and friends back in Earth via the high-speed wireless internet, and experience virtual reality at the holodeck. Once they return to Earth, they will do so like real astronauts and get to be treated to a hero’s welcome.
"We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space. Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience," said Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span in a press release.
In total, the price of this once-in-a-lifetime experience is around $9.5 million. If you’re interested and ready to become one of the very few private citizens to camp out in space just for fun, the Aurora Station is already accepting reservations for its first flight in 2022 for $80,000 per person. Reservations and a fully refundable deposit can be made right now at their website. In fact, the announcement has become so successful that in 72 hours of the Aurora Station's release, they have already 4 months worth of booking on the site.
In preparation for the travel, the usual 24-month training regimen for space travel is strategically condensed by Orion Span into 3 months, which will be completed via online instructional materials, at Orion Span's state-of-the-art training facility in Houston, Texas, and then completed after they stay at the Aurora Station.
If the idea takes off, then Orion Span is ready to develop and grow the Aurora Station. In fact, they’re even open to launching the very first residential spaces in space.
“Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel. We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost – and only pay for what they use. We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing. Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth. We will later sell dedicated modules as the world's first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo. This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way,” Bunger adds.
This is not the first time private civilians get to fly into space, but Orion Span will certainly be making space travel so much more cheaper than it currently is. In 2008, video game developer and entrepreneur Richard Garriott became one of the very few people who were able to fly to space aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA 13. He spent 12 days at the International Space Station for a jaw-dropping $30 million.
But for Garriott, all the money in the world was worth it. He wrote in 2017, “Seeing Earth from space was a life-changing event for me. Looking back at our planet, I realized what a precious, finite, and fragile home we have — a feeling some call the ‘overview effect.’ The challenges and opportunities around the world are innumerable and go from the scale of an individual life to the health of the whole planet. There is much here to explore and take joy in doing.”