A company called Orion Span is launching the Aurora Station in 2021, which will be a low-Earth orbit space station offering those who can afford the cool $9.5 million tab the opportunity to spend 12 days orbiting the planet. That’s $792,000 per night, making it the most expensive hotel in the world.
The anticipated demand is such that, just to reserve a space onboard, Orion Span is asking for an $80,000 deposit.
— Orion Span (@OrionSpan) April 5, 2018
Looking like an odd combination of wealthy tourist appeal and science lab, the website’s a copy reads:
"Every 90 minutes we complete an orbit, meaning you'll see day & night over Earth hundreds of times during your 12-day stay, with ample opportunity to photograph your hometown from space. With Aurora Station's fastest wireless internet access in space, you'll be equipped to share your experience with friends & family on Earth instantly."
200 miles high
The station will be 200 miles up in low-Earth orbit—you know, where a lot of space debris lives—and the company will require training and testing to come aboard. It’s reduced the amount of training required to become a modern-day Major Tom from 24 months to 3 months.
But it’s not jumping in the station wagon and heading to a favorite vacation spot; the training even requires a several-week stay in Houston, with exercises on spacecraft systems and contingency training to actually see if you have the right stuff.
Company founder Frank Bunger put it simply:
“We’re not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space. We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut. You reckon that there are people who are willing to pay to have that experience.”