If you enjoy going to the ends of the Earth to experience unique accommodations, one startup is hoping you might toss your compass and look to the stars instead.
Houston-based Orion Span has announced it will launch a luxurious space hotel named "Aurora Station" into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The 43.5 feet long by 14.1 feet wide outpost — roughly the size of large private jet cabin — will orbit above the Earth's surface at an altitude of 200 miles.
"Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before," CEO and founder Fred Bunger says in a statement. "Our goal is to make space accessible to all, by continuing to drive greater value at a lower cost."
You can see a 360-degree rendering of Aurora's initial design below.
As you might expect, the term "lower cost" as applied to this particular situation is still very much out of this world for most of us. According to Bunger, a 12-day stay aboard Aurora Station will set you back $9.5 million, or nearly $800,000 per night. Nonetheless, it's a step in the right direction from the more than $20-$40 million spent by previous space tourists to the International Space Station.
Once in orbit, Aurora Station will be able to accommodate up to four paying guests and two crew members. Perks include unparalleled views of Earth, participation in possible experiments growing food in zero-gravity, a virtual reality holodeck, and, for all your social media needs, high-speed internet to keep in touch with everyone down below. For those who take a liking to the setting, Orion Span is touting a possibility of leasing out space condominiums.
"Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth," added Bunger. "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. This is an exciting frontier, and Orion Span is proud to pave the way."
While Orion Span hasn't specifically stated yet how tourists will get to Aurora Station, it's likely that the company is betting big on other players like Blue Origin, SpaceX, or even Virgin Galactic to complete that piece of the puzzle.
Those interested in becoming one of the first to experience a space hotel can reserve their spot on Aurora Station today for a cool (and fully refundable) $80,000.