Houston—Orion Span is developing the first-ever space hotel—Aurora Station. The company announced plans for the first-of-its-kind luxury experience during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, Calif. The first fully modular space station to ever debut, the exclusive hotel will host six people at a time–including two crew members. Travelers on the space hotel will be part of a once-in-a-lifetime astronaut experience during their 12-day journey—which starts at $9.5 million per person. The company is now accepting deposits for a future stay on Aurora Station, which is slated to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022.
“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,” Frank Bunger, CEO and founder of Orion Span, says. “Orion Span has additionally 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.”
The company says that travelers on the space hotel will experience zero gravity and fly freely throughout Aurora Station, gaze at the northern and southern aurora through the many windows, soar over their hometowns, take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit (which they can take home with them as a souvenir), take part in a virtual reality experience on the holodeck, and stay in touch or live stream with their loved ones back home via high-speed wireless Internet access. While in space, Aurora Station guests will soar 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit, or LEO, where they will find stunning views of the Earth. The space hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, meaning those aboard will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
Prior to take-off, those set to travel on Aurora Station will take part in a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC). Phase one of the certification program is done online while the next portion is completed in-person at Orion Span’s training facility in Houston, Texas. The final certification is completed during a traveler’s stay on Aurora Station.
“Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel,” Bunger adds. “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.”