If you have ever wanted to experience what it feels like in zero gravity, there is some good news for you, provided you have a few million dollars set aside as travel budget. A Houston-based start-up Orion Span has revealed its plan to launch Aurora Station, a luxury space hotel in 2021. As per Orion Span, the Aurora Station is expected to open to guests in 2022 and will cost $9.5 million (approx. Rs 61.7 crore) per person for a 12-day trip. Surprisingly, the reservations for the first four months were sold out within three days of the announcement by Orion Span. The hotel will accommodate six guests including two crew members in two-member private suites. Reservations for the journey can be made via Orion Span's website for an $80,000 refundable deposit.
The Aurora Station is said to be the first fully modular space station. The hotel will revolve around the earth in a Lower Earth Orbit, at a distance of 200 miles above the surface of the Earth. The dimensions of the capsule will be 43.5 feet by 14 feet. Frank Bunger, the CEO and founder of Orion Span said in a press release that Aurora Station will go into service immediately after its launch and travellers will have an unforgettable experience at a lower cost. The company has also cut down the time a space traveller would have to spend training, from previous 24 months to 3 months. The training cost has also been reduced substantially.
The guests onboard will have the luxury to watch 16 sunrises and sunsets each day as the hotel will revolve around the blue planet every 90 minutes. They will also be able to get a virtual reality experience on the station's "Holodeck". Apart from this, the guests will be able to grow plants which they can bring back to earth. High-speed internet service will be provided to them using which they could live stream the experience with their friends and family back on Earth. Adding a cherry to the pie, the company said that its guests will be treated to a hero's welcome back home.
The company has a pretty ambitious goal set for itself of building a space station in four years. The details of the funding are not revealed by the company. A launch provider has also not been contracted yet as per reports. Frank Bunger, the CEO of Orion Span is a software engineer and holds an MBA degree. He is on the seven-member Orion Span team which has a cumulative experience of 140+ years in space technology. The company has revealed future plans to sell dedicated modules as condominiums in space, which owners will be able to live-in, rent or lease.
Source: Orionspan via National Geographic