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szdaily -> Kaleidoscope -> 
1st luxury space hotel to open in 2022
    2018-04-10  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

RECREATIONAL space travel is starting to become more of a reality. On the heels of Virgin Galactic successfully flying its first passenger rocket since 2014, we have another exciting announcement for those who want to travel to space.

Orion Span announced at the Space 2.0 summit in San Jose, California, on April 5 that it will build the world’s first luxury space hotel.

The Aurora Station plans to launch into space in 2021 and open to guests in 2022. That’s an ambitious goal.

The modular space station will be able to host four people at a time in addition to two crew members. Trips will last 12 days. What makes it a “luxury” hotel is a bit of a mystery though, maybe it’s the high price tag.

What’ll it cost you to spend a week and a half in low Earth orbit? A cool US$9.5 million. But hey, it’s all inclusive, you won’t even have to pay for food!

You can reserve a spot to be on the wait list for the 12-day journey aboard Aurora Station; you’ll just have to put down an US$80,000 deposit.

“Our goal is to make space accessible to all,” Frank Bunger, CEO and founder of Orion Span, 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.”

Aurora will circumnavigate the earth every 90 minutes, allowing travelers to see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours — all while in zero gravity. During their stay, they can take part in research experiments like growing food in space or stare out the window and watch the dancing lights of the aurora borealis.

Because the space station is designed as modular system, Orion Span says that when there’s enough demand, they’ll launch another pod that can be attached to Aurora’s radial hub. The initial structure will feature two “private suites.”

“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,” Bunger said. The three months of training includes an online portion and then in-person at Orion Span’s training facility in Houston, Texas.

The company plans to sell dedicated condos in space adding that “future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo.” Space agencies can charter out Aurora for research purposes, too.

Private rockets operated by Blue Origin or Elon Musk’s SpaceX will ferry the aspiring astronauts into space.

Orion Span’s chief technology officer David Jarvis and chief architect Frank Eichstadt both have experience working on the International Space Station.(SD-Agencies)

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