For years, we have heard that space tourism is “coming soon” but what headlines rarely detail is the enormous cost that follows. The only real opportunities to go to space have been very rare private trips to the International Space Station, which came with a price tag of $20 million.
There is a new company that want to disrupt the space tourism game — Orion Span has revealed the Aurora Station space hotel and they have an ambitious 2022 opening date.
Orion Span says it plans to launch the initial Aurora Station module into a low-Earth orbit, at an altitude of 200 miles (322 km), in 2021. This orbital altitude is slightly lower than the International Space Station, which is about 254 mi (408 km) above the Earth.
Orion claims their module will have the most windows of any spacecraft ever put into space, so there will be views galore. Guest will be accommodated in a two person suite that will serve as a home for them for the duration of the 12-day trip. Like all astronauts before being shot off into space, guest will have to take three-month training program to prepare for the adventure.
“Orion Span has additionally taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travelers 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.
Even though Orion claim there are revolutionising space tourism, at a cost of $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.”
If Orion has piqued your interest then to reserve a spot on the maiden voyage in 2022, you just need to have $80, 000 on hand. However, it must be noted that Orion is not the first company to enter the space tourism niche and others like them have come and failed. A notable company the Galactic Suite Project was similar to Orion in their plans , in fact the company took 38 bookings for a project that never came to pass.
If you are feeling skeptical Orion will refund any reservations they take should you decide to opt out nearer the date or should they fail to deliver on their ambitious 2022 launch.