First luxury space hotel to open in 2021

The space race is officially on after Houston-based space tech start-up Orion Span announced plans this month to open the first luxury hotel in space in 2021.

A rendering of what the Aurora Station space hotel will look like

For an astronomical $9.5m, four lucky astronauts will have the chance to experience life in zero gravity for 12 days aboard the ‘Aurora Station’. The size of a private jet cabin, guests will be able to cook their own space food and chat to their loved ones on earth while floating through space.

The luxury space hotel will feature two suites and a virtual-reality holodeck. It will orbit the earth every 90 minutes, meaning guests will be treated to 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day.

Hotel guests will be able to call their loved ones from space

Before being welcomed on board, guests need to complete a three-month astronaut certification programme to ensure they are fully prepared for life in outer space.

The hotel is due to launch in 2021 and will welcome its first guests in 2022. Each guest mission will be accompanied by two Orion Span crew members.

Those keen to travel to infinity and beyond can reserve their place via a refundable $80,000 deposit.

The concept has proved so popular that Orion Span clocked up four months worth of bookings 72 hours after announcing the news.

But isn’t 12 days a long time to be stuck in space with little to do and nowhere to go? Not so, believes Orion Span’s CEO Frank Bunger, the driving force behind the project.

“It’s an astronaut experience, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to do research projects, or stare out of the window. Training will account for two to three hours a day. Factor in calling friends on earth and time will fly by,” he said.

Bunger plans to partner with chefs to serve decent space food rather than the standard freeze-dried fare.

“Cooking in zero gravity is a special challenge, but we’ll give guests as luxurious a taste as possible, that’s still safe on board,” he said.

“In the future we’ll look to sell parts of the station, so people can visit or lease out the capacity or live there. It’s like a condo concept, that’s the idea behind it,” he added.

Last week we reported that the first beer bottle designed for space travel was preparing to launch. The brainchild of space engineer Dr Jason Held, the bottle uses modified technology from fuel tanks to defy the challenges of drinking beer in zero gravity.

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