Space hotel to welcome guests by 2022- Be ready for a trip

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Rendering of Aurora Station (Image Courtesy: Orion Span)
Rendering of Aurora Station (Image Courtesy: Orion Span)

New Delhi : Are you planning for an extra-ordinary getaway? If so, then plan a trip to the space where you can enjoy unmatched views of planets, stars, sunrises and sunsets. Yes, the Orion Span is all set to establish a space hotel which may start welcoming guests by 2022. And, of course, you need to pay a whooping amount of almost $800,000 for a night.

The Houston-based Orion Span expects to launch the first ever luxury hotel in space, the 35 (length) by 14(breadth) foot Aurora Station. It might be ready by late 2021 and start to welcome guests on board the following year. The space hotel will house four travelers and two crew members at a time, racing them around the planet at high speeds for 12 days, the company said in a news release.

Interested travellers can pay $9.5 million per person or about $791,666 a night and their $80,000 deposit can already be reserved online, company officials said. And the best part is that  the deposits is fully refundable i.e you can change your mind at the last minute.

“We want to get people into space because it’s the final frontier for our civilization,” Orion Span’s founder and chief executive, Frank Bunger, told Bloomberg.

Bunger said that one reason Orion Span can aim for a price of less than $10 million per person is because of the declining price of launches.

“Everybody’s forecasting that [launch prices are] going to fall,” he told Bloomberg. “Almost every week there’s another rocket launch company that’s starting up with a new way to get to orbit cheaper, faster, better.”

Orion Span's announcement of a luxury hotel in space comes amidst the revival of the commercial space industry. The launch of Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center in February, for example, was the latest in a series of achievements that have improved companies' interest in space.

However, the space hotel launch raised the question of whether SpaceX and other private enterprises could maintain their momentum and perform the promise of returning humans to space. 

Orion Span's planned space hotel stay includes plenty of attractions: zero gravity flying throughout the station, views of patrons' home towns from space, the ability to take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit, and live-streams with friends and family at home through high-speed Internet.

Since commercial spaceflight has yet to take humans into space, Aurora Station visitors will have three months of training, which would begin with online courses to better understand “basic spaceflight, orbital mechanics, and pressurized environments in space,” officials told Bloomberg. The guests will also have emergency training at the company's headquarters in Houston.

“Orion Span has ... taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travelers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost,” company officials said. “Our goal is to make space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at lower cost.”

“We're not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space,” Bunger said. “We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut. You reckon that there are people who are willing to pay to have that experience.”