The first luxury space hotel will open in 2022

The company Orion Span, based in Houston (USA) hopes to launch the "first luxury hotel in space", baptized as 'Aurora Station' in 2021 and have its first guests already in 2022.

The first luxury space hotel will measure about 13 meters long X 4 meters wide and the wealthiest tourists will have a new orbital destination within a few years if the plans of this startup go as they wish.

"We will launch the first affordable luxury space hotel," said Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger, who presented the Aurora Station idea at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.

Of course, 'affordable' is a relative term. A 12-day stay aboard the Aurora Station could cost from 9.5 million dollars. However, it is true that it is far less than what orbital tourists have paid in the past.

From 2001 to 2009, seven citizens made a total of 8 trips to the International Space Station (ISS), paying an estimated price of between 20-40 million dollars each time. Not suitable for any pocket.

"There has been innovation around architecture to make it more modular and simpler to use and have more automation, so it is not necessary to have EVA [extravehicular activities] or spacewalks," Bunger said of the luxury space hotel .

Some of the leading engineering experts involved in the construction of the Aurora Station space hotel have helped in the past to design the International Space Station; They are manufacturing the hotel in Houston and developing the necessary software to operate it in the Bay Area.

Aurora Station will be about the size of a large private jet cabin. Measures 13.3x 4.3 meters) and presents a pressurized volume of 160 cubic meters. For comparison, the ISS measures 109 meters long and has a pressurized internal volume of 916 cubic meters.

The private outpost will orbit at an altitude of 320 kilometers, a little lower than the ISS, which is about 400 km above the Earth on average.

Aurora Station will have capacity for four guests and two crew members; In all probability, the expert staff will be made up of former astronauts, according to the company. Most of the guests will be private space tourists, at least initially, but Orion Span will be available to a variety of clients, including government space agencies.

The space hotel hopes to grow with time, if everything goes according to plan. As the demand grows, Orion Span will launch additional modules to link up with the original outpost.

"Our long-term vision is to sell real space in these new modules, which is what we call a spatial condominium, so whether it's for living or subletting, that's the vision of the future: creating a long-term sustainable human habitation in the orbit. goes down from Earth, "says Bunger.

More competition

Orion Span is not the only company to follow this path. Other companies, such as Axiom Space and Bigelow Aerospace, also aim to launch commercial space stations in low Earth orbit in the coming years to meet the anticipated demand of space tourists, national governments, researchers and private industry. Other private players, such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, will start commercial operations soon.

People wishing to become space tenants will undergo a three-month training program, which will culminate on board the space hotel.

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