A US-based start-up company has an ambitious plan to launch a luxury hotel into low-Earth orbit.
The "Aurora Station" will give space tourists an amazing view of planet of Earth and is supposed to be an "affordable" way for citizens to enjoy space.
Of course, with a twelve night stay aboard starting at around $9.5 million (£6.8 million) we’d take issue with the affordable part.
"We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel," said Frank Bunger, the CEO and founder of Orion Span – the start-up behind the idea.
Speaking at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California, Bunger explained that the company was building the hotel itself and that, when finished, it’ll be about the size of a large private jet.
Interestingly, some of the engineers who are working on the project also helped to design and operate the modular International Space Station (ISS) currently orbiting our planet.
And it’s also worth remembering that from 2001 to 2009 seven private citizens took a total of eight trips to the ISS. They paid between $20 – $40 million for the privilege – but the point is that space tourism has been done before.
"The goal when we started the company was to create that innovation to make simplicity possible, and by making simplicity possible, we drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it," Bunger told Space.com.
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When the Aurora Station does finally launch it will sit at an altitude of 200 miles (320km) which is a bit less than the ISS.
Up to four paying guests can stay at the hotel which will also have two crew members on board.
Although it will be modest at first, the plan is to keep adding to the space hotel over time to make it bigger.
"Our long-term vision is to sell actual space in those new modules," Bunger said.
"We’re calling that a space condo. So, either for living or subleasing, that’s the future vision here — to create a long-term, sustainable human habitation in low-Earth orbit."
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