If it seems like everyone and every thing is getting into space these days, that’s because they are. Even Elon Musk’s car has seen more of our galaxy than you have.
That’s should change now that one pioneering company has announced they’re accepting reservations for the world’s first space hotel. The future is indeed now, folks.
Orion Span has a simple mission: “Build and Sustain Human Communities in Space Accessible to All.” Its first step toward achieving that goal is a private space station dubbed Aurora Station. The exclusive hotel will provide adventurous, well-heeled travelers with a zero-gravity experience, stunning views of Earth and its polar regions from afar, and the opportunity to participate in legit research projects like growing food in space alongside professional astronauts.
Aurora Station will orbit once every 90 minutes at an altitude of 200 miles above Earth. During the initial 12-day stay, hotel guests will be treated to a nearly endless cycle of sunrises and sunsets. Seats aboard the hotel are limited to just six total, including two crewmembers, so it will be an exclusive club indeed.
If it seems like commercial space travel has opened up rather quickly for the average Joe, that’s because it has. Orion Span is fast-tracking the process of getting non-astronauts into space. The usual 24-month training regimen to prepare for life in orbit has been reduced to just three months. Via the company’s proprietary, three-stage Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC), prospective space travelers take an online course (seriously), complete an in-person training process in Houston, Texas, and wrap up the entire process on Aurora Station. However, we can’t help but think that some things — space travel training least among them — shouldn’t be rushed.
Reservations are open now. Orion Span plans to have the Aurora Station space hotel in orbit by 2021 and accepting guests by 2022. The price for a 12-day stay is a reasonable USD $9.5 million provided you secure a USD $80,000 deposit. It does include a “free” ride to take passengers between Earth and the hotel.
If that’s too rich for your blood, don’t worry. We’ll (hopefully) be at the debut media reveal, so we’ll send you a postcard from orbit.
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