The First-Ever 'Affordable' Luxury Space Hotel Will Open in Low-Earth Orbit in 2022
In case the Shangri-La Hotel wasn't exclusive enough for you, the aerospace company Orion Span is planning on a new exotic hotel in low Earth orbit: the Aurora Station, the "first-ever affordable luxury space hotel," which can accommodate four guests for twelve days each. It will only run you $9.5 million, or $791,666 per night.
The Aurora Station certainly is a departure from previous space hotel plans—for the past several years, the primary destination for space tourists was the International Space Station, which is not exactly designed for comfort.
In fact, there are already plans to add a luxury module to the ISS to carve out a tiny space for tourists, but that seems chintzy now compared to an entire station.
Fittingly, several of the engineers of the new Aurora Station worked on the design of the ISS.
In terms of size, the Aurora will be 43.5 feet long by 14.1 feet wide, with a pressurized volume of 5,650 cubic feet (160 cubic m).
The ISS, meanwhile, is 357 feet (109 m) long and has an internal pressurized volume of 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic m).
If everything goes well, the Aurora will grow larger as time goes on: more modules can be added on later to expand its offerings, which are currently planned to include station-grown food and (we're not joking) a freaking holodeck.
According to Frank Bunger, the CEO of Orion Span:
"Guests will be orbiting in the hotel at 200 miles above the surface experiencing zero gravity the entire time. We are also going to be doing real space research up there like growing food in space, which we will let our guests take home as a souvenir. Then we will have a virtual reality experience, what we call the holodeck, named after Star Trek. Lastly, when the guests return home to Earth, we're going to treat them to a hero's welcome."
The only downside? The Aurora will be the only hotel in the world where you have to undergo three months of training to get your room key.