The final frontier of hotel rooms
The space race is on, and this time it’s about hotels. On the heels of the announcement that billionaire hotel mogul Robert Bigelow is hoping to book vacationers into space pods by 2021, a different company is looking to corner the “luxury” space hotel market.
Houston-based technology start up Orion Span is currently working on Aurora Station, a fully modular space station that will function as an exclusive hotel. The station can host six people at a time—including two crew members—for 12-day journeys that start around $9.5 million per person. And just in case you made a fortune in digital currency, the company is also accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span Frank Bunger wants Aurora Station to “provide a turnkey destination in space.” Travelers will enjoy zero gravity while flying 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in low orbit. The hotel will orbit our planet every 90 minutes, resulting in about 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
Details about exactly what each person’s space hotel room will look like are scarce, although a FAQ’s page says that private suites will be able to fit two people. Orion Span does say that the space hotel will have lots of windows, a lab for zero gravity research, an area to grow food while in orbit, high-speed wireless internet access, and a holodeck that supports virtual reality. The modular design means that the station can add capacity as demand increases, and Orion Span also hopes in the future to sell dedicated modules as the world’s first condominiums in space.
The Aurora Station hotel is set to launch in late 2021 and will host its first guests in 2022. If you have the cash—including a refundable $80,000 deposit—and want to live out your astronaut dreams, travelers have to undergo a three-month certification program to prep for space. But that’s a small price to pay for adventuring in the final frontier.