For a cool $9.5 million dollars, intrepid travelers can stay at what is being billed as the first luxury hotel in space.
Space technology start-up, Orion Span, revealed ambitious plans to launch a fully modular space station into orbit. Construction of Aurora Station will begin next year, according to the company, with plans to launch it into orbit by late 2021. By 2022, it will begin welcoming four guests at a time, along with two crew members, for 12-day trips into space.
"Our goal is to make space accessible to all," Frank Bunger, CEO and founder of Orion Span, said in a statement. "Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quickly and at a lower price point than ever seen before."
Accommodations will include private suites for two and "the most number of windows ever created for spaceflight," for views of northern and southern auras.
Before takeoff, travelers will complete a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) program. Bunger said it has "taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travelers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost."
Flying in low Earth orbit, guests will gaze down on the planet from a height of 200 miles above the surface. Aurora Station will orbit Earth every 90 minutes – an opportunity to see about 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
Providing the chance to experience life like an the astronaut, guests will be able to float freely through the hotel, participate in growing food in space and running science experiments.
Deposits of $80,000 are being accepted to reserve a stay on the space hotel. Orion Span said it has already booked four months' worth of reservations within only 72 hours of Aurora Station's announcement last week.