Science

Space hotel to let you experience the astronaut life

Aurora Station will be 43.5 feet long and 14.1 feet wide, roughly the size of a large private jet's cabin

Aurora Station will be 43.5 feet long and 14.1 feet wide, roughly the size of a large private jet's cabin   | Photo Credit: Orion Span

The cost of the 12-day experience starts at almost Rs. 62 crore per person.

Get ready to live the Jetson's life onboard an upcoming luxury space hotel, Aurora Station. Being developed by a U.S.-based space-tech start up company, Orion Span, it is expected to be launched in late 2021 and the first set of guests to arrive in 2022. The official announcement was made on April 5 at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.

According to a press release, the cost of the 12-day experience starts at $ 9.5 million (almost Rs. 62 crore) per person. Online registrations are now open and you can book by paying a refundable deposit of $80,000 (almost Rs.52 lakh) per person.

"We developed Aurora Station to provide a turnkey destination in space. Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travellers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience," said Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span.

Zero gravity station

According to their website, the station will host up to 6 people at a time, including one or more professional astronauts. During their stay, travellers will float at zero gravity inside the Aurora Station, and will be able to take pictures of their home towns and share them with those back home.

The station will be orbiting at a height of about 320 km above the Earth's surface (Low Earth Orbit). The hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, so the travellers will be able to see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.

Training programme

Travellers have to take part in a mandatory three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) course. Phase one is done online, followed by in-person training at Orion Span's training facility in Houston, Texas.

"Aurora Station is incredibly versatile and has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel," Bunger added. "We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost – and only pay for what they use. We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing.....We will later sell dedicated modules as the world's first condominiums in space. FutureAurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo. This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way."

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2020 4:09:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/space-hotel-to-let-you-experience-the-astronaut-life/article23472773.ece

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