The latest private company to get into the space tourism game is Orion Span, which recently revealed its Aurora Station space hotel, promising extremely ambitious 2022 opening date.
Orion Span says the company plans to launch the initial Aurora Station module into a low-Earth orbit, at an altitude of 322km in 2021. This orbital altitude is slightly lower than the current positioning of the ISS, which is about 408km above the Earth. The space hotel will boast the most windows of any spacecraft put into orbit, with people staying in private two-person suites on a 12-day round trip, with a three-month training program to get them astronaut-ready before the adventure commences.
"Orion Span has additionally taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travellers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost," says CEO and founder of Orion Span, Frank Bunger.
The space hotel will be able to host four travellers at a time, plus two crew members guiding the journey. At a cost of US$9.5 million per person, this is certainly not a budget holiday, despite Bunger's recent suggestion that, "Our goal is to make space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at lower cost."
Bunger also notes that the longer-term plan for the company is to expand Aurora Station from just one module to many, with a variety of potential uses.
"Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth," he says. "We will later sell dedicated modules as the world's first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo."
You are able to reserve a spot on the waiting list right now for just $80,000. This deposit is refundable if you end up changing your mind, or if the ambitious 2022 opening date is not met.