Aurora Station, the first-ever luxury space hotel, will launch in late 2021 and open its doors for its first guests in 2022.
Space tourism has recently become an even more intriguing business prospect, as it is expected to cater to the rich and famous. Aurora Station will look to make vacations in space relatively more affordable, and will appear to beat Russia's plans to build a luxury hotel on the International Space Station.
Aurora Station To Accept Guests By 2022
Aurora Station, which will be developed by startup Orion Span, was announced at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. It will be the first fully modular space station, and also the first luxury hotel in space.
According to Orion Span, Aurora Station will be able to accommodate six guests at a time, including two crew members.
"Space travelers will enjoy a completely authentic, once-in-a-lifetime astronaut experience with extraordinary adventure during their 12-day journey," the company promises.
Aurora Station will bring travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, said Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger in a statement. The training regimen to prepare space travelers, which usually takes 24 months, has also been streamlined to just three months, further lowering the cost.
Orion Span, which includes engineers who helped design and operate the International Space Station, will build Aurora Station itself. The luxury space hotel will measure over 13 meters by over 4 meters, just about the size of the cabin of a large private jet, with a pressurized volume of 160 cubic meters and will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 200 miles (320 kilometers). In comparison, the International Space Station is 109 meters long with a pressurized volume of 916 cubic meters, and orbits at 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth.
Orion Span said that Aurora Station could get bigger over time, as additional modules can be attached to the original design. The long-term vision of the company is to sell space in new modules, which it is referring to as "space condos."
Reserve Your Rooms On The Aurora Station, If You Can
Aurora Station will look to make space tourism relatively more affordable, but Orion Span never said that it would be cheap. Staying at the Aurora Station will cost $9.5 million per person, with the company now accepting reservations for a deposit of $80,000.
Bunger admitted that Aurora Station accommodations seem like a lot, but he compared the cost with the price of $20 million to $40 million that private citizens paid to take a trip to the International Space Station. Still, $9.5 million is $9.5 million, so it does not look like a space vacation will be popular among regular families just yet.