These days everyone wants an out-of-this-world hotel experience offering excellent service or exceptional design. But if the first-ever luxury space hotel launches in late 2021 as planned, the figure of speech will for once be an accurate description.
In early April, plans for the futuristic Aurora Station were announced at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. The exclusive hotel, which is being developed by space technology startup Orion Span, is slated to launch in late 2021 and plans to host its first guests in 2022.
Orion Span says Aurora Station will accommodate six people—including two crew members—at a time. During a 12-day stay on the space station—the starting price for which is $9.5 million per person—guests will float freely through the zero-gravity hotel, taking in views of the northern and southern auroras from the station’s windows.
Prior to takeoff, all Aurora Station guests will partake in a mandatory three-month training program to receive an Orion Span Astronaut Certification. Phase one of this certification program can be completed online; the next portion will occur at Orion Span’s training facility in Houston, and the final training will take place during each expedition on Aurora Station.
Those eager to explore travel’s latest frontier (and who have the ability to dish out a far-reaching sum) will take part in numerous authentic astronaut experiences aboard Aurora Station, from real space research experiments to virtual reality simulations. Once in orbit, guests can also stay in touch or live stream with their loved ones via high-speed wireless Internet access. Upon return to Earth, Aurora Station guests will be treated to a “hero’s welcome home.”
“We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space,” chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span, Frank Bunger, 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.”
If Aurora Station hosts its first expedition in 2022 as planned, the modular hotel will mark an astronomical move toward making space travel more mainstream. We’ll count down the years until we can afford to make the trip.