Can you imagine witnessing roughly 16 sunrises and sunsets in one day? And can you imagine staring at the earth from outside its orbit from the comforts of a luxury suite? Well far-fetched as it may sound, this will soon be a reality—at least by 2022. By Bindu Gopal Rao
What’s the buzz all about?
California-based technology start-up Orion Span is launching the first ever luxury hotel in space, Aurora Station, about 200 miles above earth. The compact interiors can accommodate four travellers and two crew members for a 12-day stay, and come with private suites.
How much does it cost?
Guests will be charged $9.5m each or about $791,666 a night for the entire duration of 12 days. Currently the company is accepting refundable deposits of $80000 for you to get on the reservation wait-list.
If you do have the money to spend…
You should go. Besides experiencing zero gravity, you’ll be in for a gamut of once-in-a-lifetime events. The Astronaut Experience programme allows you to be part of research experiments like growing food in the orbit and understanding basic spaceflight and orbital mechanics, along with having a virtual reality experience on the holodeck, named after Star Trek. As the spaceship orbits the earth every 90 minutes, you get a view of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. And the best part is that you stay in touch and even live stream your family back home through a high-speed wireless internet network! What’s more? You get to see the Northern Lights and Southern Lights.
Are you eligible?
One has to undertake a three-month regimen with the Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) to be able to be a part of the programme. It includes an online certification programme and an in-person training at their facility in Houston, Texas.
When can you go?
The company will be contacting guests on the wait-list to discuss potential dates once the station is ready to be open. As of now the station is all set to launch in late 2021 and will be able to host its first guests in 2022.