With every piece of paper that crosses my desk, or every email that lands in my inbox, sometimes it’s hard to wade through all of the information. I’m sure you know that feeling. But then, there’s that one message that causes not only a second glance, but a stop-and-stare. I got one of those about a week ago. Maybe you’ve seen it, too—or have heard about it. In any case, I wanted to share it with you, as it’s not every day, we come across—and, perhaps, might experience—a literally out-of-this-world opportunity.
The first-ever luxury space hotel was introduced in the beginning of this month during the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, CA. Aurora Station—named after the light phenomenon that illuminates Earth’s polar skies—is being developed by Orion Span and the company’s team of space industry veterans. With truly unique accommodations in a truly unique setting—and the ability to host six people at a time—I guess you can call it a boutique property. Or boutique space station.
According to the news announcement, “Space travelers will enjoy a completely authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experience with extraordinary adventure during their 12-day journey.” Deposits are being accepted for a future stay at this other-worldly hotel, which is slated to launch in late 2021 and host its first guests in 2022. Do you want to reach for the stars? Certainly sounds intriguing. Here’s the catch, though: It’s $9.5 million per person (don’t worry, there’s a fully refundable deposit of $80,000 per person that you can place on orionspan.com).
Prior to takeoff, guests will complete a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC): Phase one is done online, and phase two will be completed at the company’s training facility in Houston. Final certification is completed during the guest’s stay
at the hotel.
Frank Bunger, CEO and founder of Orion Span said, “Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel… Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth. We will later sell dedicated modules as the first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit or sublease their space condo.”
He added, “We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space. Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience.”
And since we all know it’s about the experience these days, this stay will surely deliver. Orion Span said guests will experience zero gravity and fly freely throughout the hotel; gaze at the northern and southern aurora through a multitude of windows; soar 200 miles above Earth’ surface; take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit, which they can take home with them as a souvenir—no t-shirts or mugs here!; partake in a virtual reality experience on the holodeck; and stay in touch or live stream with their (envious) friends and family back home via high-speed wireless Internet access. Oh, and the hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, meaning those aboard will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
And I thought my photos from Sedona and the Grand Canyon were nice.