For decades, Space tourism has always seemed only just out of arm's reach. Announced over the weekend, for once it looks as if the small-scale commercialization of space travel will actually become a reality.
Launching in 2021, Orion Span’s luxury space hotel 'Aurora Station' is slated to take guests into Earth's orbit the following year. This isn't 10 minutes of weightlessness or a couple of hours cruising around Earth, Orion Span is promising a full-blown 12-day stay for $9.5million USD per person, Space reports.
This is comparatively cheap given private citizens have paid sums anywhere between 20-40 million USD for a jaunt on the International Space Station under special circumstances. Elsewhere, Virgin Galactica's $250,000 USD ticket seems like a steal, and it would be if the whole program wasn't almost a hoax, hitting setback after setback until finally testing a successful rocket just last week, a decade after it promised the world commercial space travel would become a reality.
CEO Frank Bunger announced the plans at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California and confirmed that the 'hotel' will be the size of a large private jet cabin, roughly 13 metres long by 4.3 metres wide. It will also have Wi-Fi capability, so you can keep the fans happy with an Instagram live stream from space.
The orbiting accommodation will sit 200 miles (322 kilometres) above the Earth's surface, 50 miles short of the ISS.
“Our long-term vision is to sell actual space in those new modules,” Bunger admitted. “We’re calling that a space condo. So, either for living or subleasing, that’s the future vision here — to create a long-term, sustainable human habitation in LEO [low earth orbit].”
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