For years, we have seen space tourism touted as "very soon", but the only real opportunity to buy its way to space were very rare private trips to the International Space Station with price tags of more than US $ 20 million . The last private company to enter the game of space tourism is Orion Span, which recently unveiled its Aurora Station space hotel, promising an extremely ambitious opening date for 2022.
Orion Span says it plans to launch the initial Aurora Station module to a low level -Earth orbit, at an altitude of 200 miles (322 km), in 2021. This orbital altitude is slightly lower than the current position of the ISS, which is about 254 mi (408 km) above the Earth. The company says that the module will have the most windows of a spacecraft put into orbit, with people staying in private suites for two people on a trip of 12 days, with a training program of three months to prepare them for the adventure before the adventure. begins
"Orion Span has also taken what was historically a 24-month training regime to prepare travelers to visit a space station and simplify it to three months, at a fraction of the cost," says the CEO and founder of Orion Span, Frank Bunger.
The hotel can accommodate four travelers at a time, plus two crew members who will guide the trip. At a cost of US $ 9.5 million per person, this is not an economic trip, despite Bunger's recent suggestion that, "Our goal is to make the space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at a cost less".
be skeptical of this latest announcement of space tourism. For more than a decade there has been a constant parade of different space hotel plans. Already in 2007, the Galactic Suite Project was revealed, which promised an orbital escape similar to the Aurora Station. The company even began taking reservations and in 2008 there were 38 travelers with hopes on the waiting list. Obviously, the Galactic Suite Project was never fulfilled: the website has not been updated since 2014.
Of course, it is not particularly surprising that many previous space tourism announcements have been fatally delayed. Those who follow the thriving private space race will know that progress has been slow, but in recent years things have started to accelerate. SpaceX, Orbital ATK, Blue Origin and several other private space flight companies are ahead with the tests, and although Orion Span has not yet revealed any agreement with a launch provider, you will surely have several options to choose from.
Bunger notes that the company's longer-term plan is to expand Aurora Station from just one module to many, with a variety of potential uses.
"Our architecture is such that we can add capacity easily, which allows us to grow with market demand as a city that grows towards the sky on Earth," he says. "Later, we will sell dedicated modules like the first condominiums in the world, and the owners of Future Aurora can live, visit or sublet their space condominium."
You can reserve a place on the waiting list right now for only $ 80,000. This deposit is refundable if you change your mind or if the ambitious opening date 2022 is not met.
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