In 2021, will launch a luxury space hotel

Katie Ramirez
April 7, 2018

Want to see 16 sunrises in one day?

The launching of Aurora Station aims at building affordable luxury hotel in space.During the Space 2.0 Summit which was held in San Jose, California, on April 5, Orion Span, the startup company shed light on its aspiring plans. From 2022, guests could have an "authentic astronaut" experience of living at a space hotel.

Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger told GeekWire that the venture is now self-funded, with added support from two angel investors whom he declined to name.

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.

The luxury hotel will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 200 miles, just 50 miles lower than the ISS.

If successful, the hotel would be able to host four guests at one time where they can while away the hours looking down on Earth. On return to Earth, guests will be treated to a hero's welcome home.

It is thought that the space hotel will be modular in design, which will make it simpler to launch and redesign in the future. The $80,000 is fully refundable, should applicants find themselves unable to rise to the full $9.5 million.

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Interested guests will have to undergo a three-month training program to get themselves ready for the trip. It's that everything about space travel is complicated, and there doesn't seem to be much of a plan here (at least, from what the company has disclosed publicly). "This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way". Of course, Orion Span plans on partnering with private companies for transportation - Virgin Galactic is charging about $250,000 a ticket for a tourist seat. Branson originally said flights would begin in 2009, but an official date has yet to be set for its maiden voyage.

There is, as you'd imagine, a slight catch when it comes to the price tag.

Bunger said the space module for Aurora Station would be assembled in-house in Houston, starting in early to mid-2019, with some components provided by outside suppliers.

He added: "We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing".

Adds Bunger: "Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand".

The open questions surrounding Orion Span have to do with funding and logistics.

The world's first few "space tourists" have traditionally had to pay $20 million or more to the Russian government for a seat aboard the International Space Station, according to CNN.

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