Tech, Travel

Travel Through the Twilight Zone to the First Luxury Space Hotel

If you’ve always dreamed of becoming an astronaut but never felt that space could live up to your more refined tastes, it’s time to rethink everything you thought you knew.

Orion Span revealed its plans for the Aurora Station last week at the Space 2.0 Summit held in San Jose, California. The space technology start-up pitched its idea as the world’s first luxury space hotel.

The astronomical feat proposes a fully modular space station with vacancy for six -- two highly trained crew members and four civilian astronauts. The twelve day trips are set to launch after the 2019 construction is completed -- possibly as soon as 2021!

Credit: Wikimedia

As a guest at the first luxury space hotel, astronauts can expect to fly approximately 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit. Extracurricular activities include research experiments such as growing food to take home as a souvenir, video chatting with loved ones, orbiting above your hometown, floating around the cabin freely, and taking in views of the northern and southern aurora. For your Instagram bragging rights, the scheduled orbit of Earth every 90 minutes promises the best shots of any one of 16 sunrises and sunsets you can see over the course of 24 hours. Upon completion of your two-week space odyssey, you are even welcomed home with a specially arranged hero’s welcome.

Ready to book your trip?

What does it take to be able to mark this item off your bucket list? Well, luckily for those interested, Orion Span has condensed the regular 24 month training program into a 3 month regimen. This earns civilian, or private, astronauts the Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC). It doesn’t just simply require passing with flying colors though -- you’ll also need a cool $9.5 million to break free of Earth’s gravitational pull.

​​​Credit: Wikimedia Commons, NASA

Even still, this large sum is a significant reduction from previous prices. Between 2001 and 2009, seven private astronauts blasted off towards the International Space Station for the ultimate vacation on Russian-made rockets. One such astronaut, Richard Garriott, quoted his bill at $30 million for a two week stay in 2008. Therefore, this huge deal at $9.5 million speaks to Orion Span’s goal of making space accessible to all, with its CEO, Frank Bunger touting it as the lowest price ever fathomed.

If you have the will and the means, you can put your $80,000 fully-refundable deposit down here.

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